Songwriter | Chicago Reader

Songwriter

Alan Rudolph (Remember My Name, Choose Me) came in late on this project about a country and western performer (Willie Nelson) fighting for his independence from a shady promoter, and from the way he hustles through the contrived plot, it looks like he wanted to get home early, too. Some of Rudolph's personality is evident in the way the songs are knitted into the story line, and the Lesley Ann Warren character—a neurotically insecure singer who fronts for Nelson when he can no longer perform his own songs—comes straight from the Rudolph gallery of tortured females. But Rudolph's usual serenely distanced point of view on his characters' problems gives way here to a bumptious subjectivity as Rudolph plays up the rabble-rousing aspects of the tired revenge scenario. Kris Kristofferson drifts by in a minor role uncomfortably inflated to justify his star billing; Melinda Dillon, Rip Torn, and Richard C. Sarafian lend eccentric support.

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