Nashville (1975)

Nashville

Nashville Review

Nashville is a 1975 musical film directed by Robert Altman and starring Ronee Blakley, Lily Tomlin and Ned Beatty. It was nominated for Best Picture including four other nominations and is regarded as a masterpiece where in my opinion it is a mediocre movie.

Nashville follows a bunch of people involved in country music in Nashville, Tennessee. By just reading that synopsis you can see its problems. It is a basic 70s and Oscar movie that follows a bunch of different people but doesn’t let you know any of them and throw in the overreliance on music instead of any story whatsoever and you get a concert documentary and not a live-action film. It is also very boring and so overblown, lasting for two and a half hours. There are some moments here that are great, mostly some comedic moments that are very endearing and funny thanks to fine humor displayed here. But it is just tedious and never properly developed with no story whatsoever. The movies from that era tended to be like that – a bunch of people, one event and a weak plot. ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘ is similar, but it is a much better movie than Nasvhille and it has at least a central character developed whereas in this movie not one character gets a proper treatment.

The characters are awful. Some female characters in particular are very funny and charming, but others are mostly bland and never explored whatsoever. The character development in this movie is downright terrible. As for its acting, it is solid with some rather good performances, but because the characters are so thin, those actors couldn’t save them.

Now, for the music. Because it’s a musical and because it just relies entirely on it, it is important and they succeeded with a couple of really good songs with I’m Easy being solid and 200 Years being a standout and very catchy with fine lyrics. But the rest are just too repetitive, forgettable and similar to each other to be enjoyed more.

As for the politics, it is badly incorporated. It should be about both entertainment and politics, but that is never clear. It is too rarely explored and almost never present which is weird because the critics praise it. I must be missing something because I couldn’t see anything in this movie besides the music and boring characters.

As for its technical achievements, it has good directing from Altman because he got from the actors what he got and the movie looks good with fine cinematography and solid editing. But it is boring and badly paced. The acting is good and the humor is the standout, but the script is mediocre and almost non-existent and the music tends to take most of the running time.

As for its awards, it got best song for I’m Easy which is somewhat deserved as it is one of two songs I enjoyed here. Best Director nomination was not deserved and its nomination for Best Picture is ridiculous. But the nominees Ronee Blakley and Lily Tomlin both deserved it as both gave the best performances.  Overall, I do not get its overwhelming critical success and recognition because it is such a boring, non-story and even dated movie that is one of the most overrated films from an overrated year. Yes, 1975 is in my opinion an awful year that is just one of the worst in film history and I don’t get the constant admiration it receives.

Nashville has a boring and even non-existent story, just awful character development and it is over-reliant on music which is solid, but I am not a country music fan and the only two songs I enjoyed here are I’m Easy and 200 Years, the rest are repetitive and forgettable. It is well acted, somewhat funny and solidly made, but it is overblown, has no purpose, story or characters and is at many times tedious. It is an overrated movie from an overrated year that is one of the worst years ever in film history.

My Rating – 2.5

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