Radio: The Movie

By Scott Gwin 2005-07-11 00:00:00discussion comments
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Video didn't really kill the radio star, it just knocked him out for a bit. Thanks to the internet, satellite radio and the new podcast phenomenon (a bandwagon CinemaBlend has happily jumped on - click here to find out more) radio is making a comeback. Now, according to Empire Online, radio is even getting it's own respectable movie. No, Mikey, Radioheads was not respectable.

The Prairie Home Companion, directed by Robert Altman, has already begun filming and centers around a radio show that is being shut down after 30 years on the air. Most of the action takes place behind the scenes leading up the show's final broadcast, suggesting a sort of Noises Off mentality. Garrison Keillor, the creative genius behind the actual long-running NPR radio show "A Prairie Home Companion", wrote the script for the film.

Keillor's gift for satire, word play and improvisational wit guarantee's an entertaining ride, especially when you consider who is in the cast. Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, John C. Reilly, Kevin Kline, Virginia Madsen, Maya Rudolph, Woody Harrelson and Lindsay Lohan (yeah, I'm scratching my head on that one too) are all involved. Jones, Streep, Harrelson and Kline all know their way around a good improvised scene and combined with Keillor's stylings this movie has "entertaining award winner" written all over it. Unfortunately, like so many entertaining award winners (Finding Neverland, Crash), no one will probably see it. Nevertheless, a prime release date of October or November is anticipated.

"A Prairie Home Companion", a comedy/variety show with a satiric midwest flavor, has been a favorite radio staple of mine for years. If you've never heard it, you should do yourself favor and listen in at www.prairiehome.org.
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