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A Prairie Home Companion Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

… sweetly humane, bluegrass … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    75

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What a lovely film this is, so gentle and whimsical, so simple and profound.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    At its best, it's a gentle meditation on mortality. But at weaker moments it feels meandering and strangely empty.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    What sustains the film is the performers' belief in their shaggy-dog selves, which is more than just talent - it's faith.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Both magical and consistently joyous. The director, Robert Altman, and the writer, Garrison Keillor, have, against all odds, transmuted the fatigued public radio institution into a lovely fable about mortality, fleeting fame, fondness for the past and the ineffable beauty of life in the present.

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Not since Woody Allen's "Radio Days" has anyone created such a cinematic Valentine to the wonderfully imaginative medium of radio as A Prairie Home Companion.

    Read Full Review

  • See all A Prairie Home Companion reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Quirky, provocative film about relationships.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this drama explores the idea of death, featuring a metaphorical figure (a woman in a white raincoat who is both an "angel of death" and a dead woman brought to temporary life). One character writes poems about suicide, another dies backstage, asleep in a chair, and others respond with tears on discovering his body (the dead man had arranged for a sexual interlude). The on-stage radio show includes bawdy jokes about sex (mostly using euphemisms) and minor quarrelling between former lovers and sisters. Characters smoke and drink liquor. A cowboy performer holds a prop gun. Mild language (one s-word, some uses of "hell" and "damn"), including sexual and body parts references.

  • Families can talk about the film's contemplation of death, as an inevitable transition (characters' deaths as well as the passing of the radio show). How does Lola's initial interest in suicide reflect her own adolescent worries about expectations, as well as her family's knotty emotional history? How does she reconcile with her nervous, distracted mother through their shared love of music and desire for connection?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Sisters and former loves argue, some characters resist corporate takeover of community radio station.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Song about a dog dying; poem about suicide (written by teenager); man dies in his underwear while waiting for a sexual tryst; "Angel of Death" discusses death, touches man before he dies; "Angel" describes her own death in a car accident.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Bawdy jokes/songs about sexual activity ("Come ride my pony all night"); reference to "naked man" arrangement for a possible romantic encounter.

  • language false3

    Language: One use each of s-word and "ass," two "damns," several uses of "hell," metaphorical allusions to sex.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Radio announcers promote fictional products.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette rolling and smoking; liquor drinking, jokes about drinking, drunkenness, and Viagra.

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