Genre chameleon. Occasionally musical behind-the-scene drama, either a subtle farce or non-stop satire, but above all a deeply personal epic about Mid-West, both nostalgic and engaging. I experienced it as sequences of lucid dreams, blending childhood reminiscences with adult cynicism. Fine tuned to the point of exhaustion, "Nashville" is both hard to keep up with and to look away from.
This is exactly what you want from ALTMAN: grandly hectical, satirical with the typical goofy touch, pointless in many ways, secretly political and above all incredibly cosy and loveable. This lengthy film entertains naturally, slowly, like a great piece of ambient music which captivates you without trying too hard. I consider this a masterpiece, where ALTMAN's style truly blossoms without compromise or weak spots.
Nashville is one of those special cinema experiences that, first of all, really deserves the greatest screen of them all to be full appreciated, and also, that takes the viewer to such an amazingly odd world of characters. I was following the movie and being constantly surprised by it, and in the end, and until now, many hours after the screening, I keep thinking on it at new levels and remembering some new...
To be honest (and why wouldn't I be honest?) Nashville would probably get three stars if it wasn't for the music. Some fun scenes, but I get the feeling Altman doesn't like the characters a lot. But with the music and all...in the end it's enjoyable, but not Altman's masterpiece.
Although I consider The Long Goodbye to be Altman's greatest film, Nashville runs a close second. This is not only a time capsule of 1970s America but it is also the greatest ensemble film ever made. Altman worked best with a lot of people and the ending is one of the most powerful ever committed to film.