Two years after Nashville, Lily Tomlin starred in her second feature, the critically acclaimed The Late Show. Written and directed by Bonnie and Clyde screenwriter Robert Benton, this 1977 character study tells the story of Ira Wells (Art Carney), an over-the-hill detective who is no stranger to isolation. Through a series of events, he meets Margo Sperling, a talent manager who deals grass to stay afloat financially. Eventually Margo hires Wells—not to find a missing person, but her AWOL cat. In this Robert Altman–produced movie, Tomlin and Carney play to each other’s strengths, their comedy filled with pathos and understanding for the marginalized people they’ve brought to life. When Margo starts to crack open because of Ira’s care, you can see her trying to remember when she last had that feeling.
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