A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION Director: ROBERT ALTMAN U.S.A. 2006 COLOUR ANAMORPHIC DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO 105 MIN. Book cinema tickets IT’S ONLY FITTING THAT THE LAST OF THE TRUE AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS, ROBERT ALTMAN, SHOULD BOW OUT ON TOP OF HIS GAME WITH THIS UTTERLY GLORIOUS FILM. Over a career spanning some fifty years and well over thirty featuresnot to mention innumerable TV projectsthe one constant throughout Altman’s career was a wilful embrace of the totally unpredictable. Thus, from beyond the grave, Grumpy Bob offers us one last gem, an elegiac, often magical ode to the glory days of radio that also serves as a love letter to the ensemble casts Altman loved so much. Ostensibly based upon writer Garrison Keillor’s legendary weekly broadcastsKeillor penned the screenplay and plays sagely host ‘G. K.’the slight plot (never much of an Altman concern) posits the action during the final performance of America’s most beloved radio variety show. Big business is taking over, and it’s time to take the stage for one last, glorious hurrah. Naturally enough, we’re guaranteed a night to remember. What, then, to say about a formidable cast that includes Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly (the latter two triumphing as a pair of hilarious singing cowboys), tween queen Lindsay Lohan and Sam Peckinpah veteran L. Q. Jones, all clearly having a ball? In the end, the true star here remains behind the camera. A Prairie Home Companion is, to a fault, utterly, gloriously Altmanesque. Director: ROBERT ALTMAN U.S.A. 2006 COLOUR ANAMORPHIC DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO 105 MIN.