Robert AltmanAs soon as Picturehouse Films president Bob Berney got done spending $3.75 million on the rights to distribute Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion (or The Last Broadcast, or Savage Love - whatever it's called today), he immediately went into promotion mode. Berney is telling anyone who will listen how incredibly great the film is - he, apparently, "was blown away. It was through the roof." Do you think that's president-speak for "Off the hook"?

Wow, really? Why, this is shaping up to be a movie I want to see. Tell me more, Bob. "This film is nostalgic and it's a variety show. The cast and Altman make it very cool and hip at the same time." Um, ok. Though it's not that common to convincingly put the words "cool," "hip," and "variety show" that close together - just ask Nick and Jessica. Do people who want nostalgia want to see Lindsay Lohan? What else is there to put my butt in the seat? Well, says Bob, there's the kickass soundtrack. He was, again, blown away, especially by "Meryl Streep belting out these songs."

Don't get me wrong here - MASH is one of my favorite movies of all time, I love Vincent & Theo and consider The Gingerbread Man criminally underrated. But Altman's fully capable of making massive stinkers - everyone who sat through the deadly Prêt-à-Porter can vouch for that. Plus, I'm just not convinced that pushing nostalgia, the young, hip cast, and Meryl Streep singing (which she can totally do - see Postcards from the Edge for proof) is going to get the movie attention for the right reasons. And the last time someone called Garrison Keillor "hip" it was 1962.

The good new is that the film won't be released until the summer of 2006, so Picturehouse has a lot of time to sort out how they're going to sell it.
categories Movies, Cinematical