A Prairie Home Companion


A Prairie Home Companion

Critics Consensus

The final film by the great Robert Altman, A Prairie Home Companion, the big screen adaptation of Garrison Keillor's radio broadcast showcases plenty of the director's strengths: it's got a gigantic cast and plenty of quirky acting and dialogue.



Total Count: 197


Audience Score

User Ratings: 84,066
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A Prairie Home Companion Photos

Movie Info

Director Robert Altman and writer Garrison Keillor join forces with an all-star cast to create a comic backstage fable, "A Prairie Home Companion," about a fictitious radio variety show that has managed to survive in the age of television. On a rainy Saturday night in St. Paul, Minn., fans file into the Fitzgerald Theater to see "A Prairie Home Companion," a staple of radio station WLT, not knowing that WLT has been sold to a Texas conglomerate and that tonight's show will be the last. Shot entirely in the Fitzgerald, except for the opening and closing scenes which take place in a nearby diner, the picture combines Altman's cinematic style and intelligence and love of improvisation and Keillor's songs and storytelling to create a fictional counterpart to the actual "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show, which has heard on public radio stations coast to coast for the past quarter-century (and which, in real life, continues to broadcast). The result is a compact tale with a series of extraordinary acting turns.

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Kevin Kline
as Guy Noir
Meryl Streep
as Yolanda Johnson
Lily Tomlin
as Rhonda Johnson
Lindsay Lohan
as Lola Johnson
Virginia Madsen
as Dangerous Woman
Marylouise Burke
as Lunch Lady
L.Q. Jones
as Chuck Akers
Sue Scott
as Donna
Tom Keith
as Sound Effects Man
Rich Dworsky
as Piano, Organ, Bandleader
Andy Stein
as Violin, Saxophone
Christopher K. Grap
as Axeman's Chauffeur
Debbie DeLisi
as Lobby Usher
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Critic Reviews for A Prairie Home Companion

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (48)

Audience Reviews for A Prairie Home Companion

  • Sep 19, 2013
    Robert Altman is the only one who could have directed 'A Prairie Home Companion' and pulled it off, and he did. He's the only that can make people-watching so interesting. The entire cast is in top form, but this is Altman's show. The ensemble cast, the overlapping dialogue, the camera that essentially acts as a third party to all that's going on - it's all quite wonderful to watch.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2013
    A Prairie Home Companion is a nostalgic love letter to old time variety radio. Directed by Robert Altman and written by Garrison Keillor, the film follows the last performance of the radio variety show A Prairie Home Companion as the staff struggles to deal with the show's closing. The all-star cast features Kevin Kline, Tommy Lee Jones, Virginia Madsen, Woody Harrelson, and Lindsey Lohan; who all deliver wonderful performances. Both the story and the performances are engrossing, and really bring the audience into the lives of these characters. Additionally, the music is exceptionally well done; setting the perfect atmosphere for the show and embodying the feel of old time radio. Majestic and heartfelt, A Prairie Home Companion is a beautiful film that homages a lost part of Americana.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2012
    it's a very.... strange film, no idea on the purpose of the story or any character interactions.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2011
    Altman's final film is a touching meditation on death and changing of the times. With a great ensemble, Altman delivers his swan song.
    Graham J Super Reviewer

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