With 'The Ides of March' on the way, a state of the filmpolitik union
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4. “Nashville” (Robert Altman, 1975)
“The damnedest thing you ever saw,” boasted the poster for Robert Altman’s sprawlingly brilliant American mosaic. Indeed, no film before or since has ever been quite the same shape: braiding, weaving and sometimes inelegantly mashing the garrulous narratives of 24 characters with varying degrees of involvement in a political rally for a Replacement Party presidential candidate. We never see the candidate himself, though we do hear his inauthentically folksy spiel, making him something of a MacGuffin to the film’s more magnified politics of society and celebrity: the petty social insecurity, delusion and self-absorption that made America great.