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Language: English, Dolby Digital 5.1
1.85:1 widescreen version
As ever, Altman directs with freewheeling aplomb and ropes in a whole cast of eccentric characters, all of whom dive into their roles with gusto. Julianne Moore, as Camille's dippy sister, gets some of the most outrageous scenes; her gloriously inept performance in Wilde's Salome for the local amateur production has to be seen to be disbelieved. OK, maybe the South was never as lazily easy-going and largely colour-blind as it's presented here; but it's hard not to suspend disbelief and relax into this beguilingly shaggy-doggish Southern comfort of a movie.
On the DVD: the usual ingredients--theatrical trailer, written production notes, a 10-minute featurette on the making of the movie and brief snatches of interview with the director and his lead players. No revelations, but everyone seems to have had a genuinely good time--as always the actors adore working with Altman. Widescreen (1.85:1) ratio and Dolby 5.1 make the most of his practised eye (and ear) for detail. --Philip Kemp