Movie Title: Nashville
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 2 hr. 40 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo
Where did I watch it?: Home
Nashville takes place in the background of a political campaign by Hal Philip Walker as the Replacement Party candidate for president and builds to a rally for Walker at the movies conclusion. The petty lives of various parties connected with the campaign in tangential ways are explored all while being pursued by an inept reporter for the BBC. There are way too many characters with the most noteworthy (though minor) characters being a very young Jeff Goldblum riding a ridiculous motorcycle and performing magic tricks. Many of the characters don’t play any particular role in the movie’s climax or hold much weight. Some of the music is very good and some is meant to be funny. There are a few laughs to be found around the edges of the movie. It starts off promising with a surreal car wreck, but declines thereafter. Another good gag is a country music act being hired to perform in the middle of a track during a NASCAR race. It is a good bit, but there are not enough of them in the movie.
The movie has some significant flaws. There is not a single ounce of character development to be found. The movie is very long and is mostly aimless conversation with no coherent plot. The finale is foreshadowed at the half way point and is fairly predictable. It is also fairly illogical. It is not quite clear why the events that round off the film happen. At times the movie aims for realism, but at times it leans into surrealist territory. If it was aiming for realism that would have been fine, but the characters are caricatures and the surrealist moments hurt the realist elements. Moreover, many conversations occur simultaneously or concurrently where people don’t bother to listen or appropriately respond to their interlocutor. It is frustrating.
The one clear message the movie has is that everyone is going to live their own lives. In the wake of the climactic moment of the film there are characters that continue to go about their business despite what happened. A man looks for his daughter, a woman spontaneously picks up a tune, and life goes on. It also ends with a song that is grim although put to a hopeful tune.
Overall, it is a confusing movie. On one level it is a meandering mess. On another it seems to be trying to say something about American society and our relationships with one another. It is a movie that will stick in my craw for awhile and I’m still not sure if I liked it. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Death Wish (2018)