Introduction by Lily Tomlin
When director Robert Altman was in the planning stages of Nashville, he had the actress Louise Fletcher in mind to play Linnea Reese, a gospel singer with two deaf children (the Southern-born Fletcher had been raised by non-hearing parents). Ultimately, though, the role went to Lily Tomlin, who would be nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this, her first movie, a panoramic look at the Tennessee capital in the run-up to a presidential primary. Tomlin used what she knew of her parents’ Kentucky roots to make Linnea fully dimensional, and her quiet approach to the role silences the extraordinary chatter around her. Tomlin’s performance alternates between humor, longing, and calm capability. Hers is an unforgettable contribution to what Pauline Kael dubbed “the funniest epic vision of America ever to reach the screen.”
The new 4K restoration of Nashville will have a one-week run at Film Forum, September 20-26.