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Nashville (1975)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

84

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 9,387

My Rating

Movie Info

Following 24 characters through 5 days in the country music capital, Robert Altman's 1975 epic presents a complexly textured portrayal (and critique) of American obsessions with celebrity and power. Among the various stars, aspirants, hangers-on, observers, and media folk are politically ambitious country icon Haven Hamilton (Henry Gibson) and his fragile star protegée Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley); Tom (Keith Carradine), a self-absorbed rock star who woos lonely married gospel singer Linnea

R,

Drama, Musical & Performing Arts, Classics

Joan Tewkesbury

Aug 15, 2000

Paramount Pictures

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Cast

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (2) | DVD (16)

I hate to go out on a limb after only one viewing, but Nashville strikes me as Altman's best film, and the most exciting dramatic musical since Blue Angel.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I think that the power and the theme of the film lie in the fact that while some characters are more "major" than others, they are all subordinated to the music itself. It's like a river, running through the film, running through their life.

January 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A rare and puzzling movie: beautiful and cruel, passionate but strangely shallow.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
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Nashville is one of Altman's best films, free of the rambling insider fooling around that sometimes mars entire chunks of every second or third picture.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A masterpiece.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a film that a lot of other directors will wish they'd had the brilliance to make.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some characters are odious while others are sympathetic, but every last one manages to provide contrast and depth to Altman's view of an America in which the boundaries between politics and entertainment are all but nonexistent.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

[VIDEO ESSAY] In 1975 Robert Altman painted filmic satire on a grand scale with "Nashville."

March 3, 2012 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

In its ambitions to say something big and different about the American political scene rises to the occasion to be a fascinating technical achievement ... .

February 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of the most challenging American films ever made.

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of the 1970s most complexly constructed films, Nashville tackles the music industry and American politics in satirical, innovative ways by the use of large ensemble, overlapping dialogue, imporov acting, and songs written and sung by the actors.

September 16, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comments (2)
EmanuelLevy.Com

Nashville effectively founded the school of American improv-ensemble cinema.

March 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

[Nashville] looks forward to our contemporary obsession with celebrities and to politics itself becoming a form of show business. Unmissable.

December 21, 2004 Full Review Source: BBC

[Altman] never really spends enough time with any one character to make you care about them.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (3)
Reel Film Reviews

Intriguing, absorbing and always entertaining.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

See it, think about it, then see it again. It's the voice of America, and the passage of time has done nothing to dull its clarity.

February 14, 2002 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

If Nashville doesn't offer great new insights, it makes obvious many themes that a country might prefer to keep off-screen.

July 25, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Part comedy, part drama, part social commentary, and part musical, it is a film that truly defies categorization or simplistic descriptions.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

As long as we have politics and country music going, Nashville will remain relevant as a microcosm of America and its people.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

Audience Reviews for Nashville

A clever, well-paced satire about country music and politics taking place on a weekend in Nashville, TN. Amidst the backdrop of an upcoming election, a country music festival takes over the town while a multitude of characters are detailed, all seeking happiness. A tale of manipulation and false expectations concerning fame and celebrity, director Robert Altman's masterpiece is an indisputable triumph of satirical sadness. It is a dark, somber movie, but one that is phenomenally acted and written, which keeps its audience's attention throughout its demanding near three-hour running time. Keith Carradine and Barbara Bixley shine brightest in terms of performances, but really this is an ensemble effort with an ending that is unexpected, and utterly brilliant.
February 3, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Now I finally see why Robert Altman was so beloved. I never understood why he was spoken of as a genius. Now after finally seeing his 1975 near-masterpiece, "Nashville," I get it.

Through a strange set of coincidences, I never saw "Nashville" until now. I can remember when it came out. It received a lot of praise from serious critics and was nominated for a bunch of Oscars, including Best Picture (it lost to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"). But it was never embraced by the mainstream. "Jaws" was the big movie that year. Everyone went to see "Jaws," including nine-year-old me. But almost no one went to see "Nashville."

But over the years, it has taken on classic status. And I can see why. "Nashville" is so innovative that it's a bit challenging to watch. But if you give it the time and stay with it to the end, I think you'll be happy you did.

I would describe it as one of the first post-modern films. It has about 25 characters, each with his/her own story line. There is no major character in the traditional sense. No one storyline dominates. I'd say that 1970s America is the main character. In many ways, Altman was holding up a mirror to the America of his day and showing us ourselves. He takes a panoramic ethnographic viewpoint, if you will. He's describing a culture, not focusing in on specific individuals.

Initially, it's captivating. But after about an hour, the lack of a central storyline became a bit wearying to me. There's not that much drama. But something magical happens in the last 20 minutes or so. The threads all come together beautifully, with a violent act providing something of a crescendo.

When Altman pulls his camera slowly back in the last couple of minutes, encompassing more and more in his field of vision, "Nashville" soars. It becomes a poem about America, almost perfectly capturing the longing, the sadness mixed with giddiness that was 1970s America. The irresponsibility, the fixation on music and entertainment, the persistence, and 100 other things. "Nashville" captures the feel of the 70s so well that it's almost mystical. A major work of art that I would enjoy watching again and again.
August 19, 2012
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

A hilarious satire of country music, Altman's Nashville is one the best ensemble pieces ever created.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Okay so I just finished this a bit ago, and it hasn't all quite sunk in yet, so my review might not be the best. Perhaps I should let it sink in for a while first and maybe even give it a rewatch, but I don't really have time to do that so take my review with a grain of salt.

First off, this film is somewhat overlong and a tad too meandering at times, and maybe just a bit pretentious, However, it carries a lot of influence (particular on the works of P.T. Anderson) and it is a rather incredible experience. This is an ambitious, sweeping epic look at America and the state of American life and culture on the cusp of the bicentennial filtered through the lens of around 24 characters who, despite having their own specific storylines, all interweave to form a narrative surrounding the effort to put on a concert rally for the state's presidential primary for a populist fringe candidate running on the Replacement party ticket. The film has an overall running time of 2 Hours, 40 minutes, with an hour of that time devoted to musical numbers (all songs written by the cast and some of the crew).

This is a broad mosaic of a film, but despite some of the heavy subject matter it is played out in Altman's loose, heavily improvised and mutilayered style. It's one of those movies where you can probably pick up more and more with each viewing, but is also a great sort of hang out film where, kinda like a crowded party, you can just sort of filter in and out of various conversations or moments and still pick up the gist. The film is rather successful at this for the msot part, though it took me a bit to really get inot it. Once I did though, things got really cooking, and I found this to be quite a film that says a lot without really saying or doing too much when you get right down to it.

I'm not going to list all of the 24/5 main actors, but I will say that most do a really good job. I wish they al lwere uniformly great, but hey there's so much going on here that the goods outweigh the bads. I think Lily Tomlin probably stuck out as the best for me though. I used to not pay her much mind, but she's really quite a wonderful actress. I knew she was good, but now I realize she's great.

You don't have to enjoy country, folk, or gospel to like this movie, but it obviously helps if you at least appreciate it. LIke I said, the film is overlong and rambling, but I was engaged for most of it. I think it works better as an experience more tha na proper film, but there's nothing wrong with that. This is a wonderful document that really captures the zeitgeist of the times, and is easily one of the best film of the 70s, which is really saying something given that the 70s was the best decade for cinema. I'm still not quite sure what to make of this movie, but as for right now, I'm quite impressed.

You should really give this one a look. It's a really well done and significant work of art.
October 16, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Star: You look like a guy that I was in the navy with. He wouldn't bathe, so we had to pee in his bed to get him discharged.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (49 days ago)
    1. Bill: You're supposed to wear the blue dress when I wear this.
    2. Mary: I don't wanna dress like twin anymore.
    3. Bill: We're not twins. We're a trio.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (49 days ago)
    1. Opal: Hi, I'm Opal from the BBC.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (8 months ago)
    1. Haven Hamilton: Y'all take it easy now. This isn't Dallas, it's Nashville! They can't do this to us here in Nashville! Let's show them what we're made of. Come on everybody, sing! Somebody, sing!
    – Submitted by Matheus C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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