Forget all the reviews going on and on about Nashville's experimental film-making, "nuance," "texture," and "epic scope." Of course, all of these sentiments are true, but they are used to describe so many movies that they have lost all meaning. The fact is, Nashville is great not primarily for it's insights into politics, life, America, the music business, failure, and striving, but because it contains those insights in a superbly watchable package. Nashville is simply riveting--it may eschew typical Hollywood storytelling, but it remains a filmed equivalent of a page-turner (even at 140 minutes). In a typical Hollywood confection, you hardly get to know even one compelling character; in Nashville literally dozens of them pour off the screen. Watch this movie and watch it again.
Some people, obviously, hate Nashville. I respect them for being true to their experience of the movie, but some of their comments are baffling. Altman hates his characters? He is superior and detached? The costumes are dated? I have to wonder if we were watching the same DVD. Admiration for Nashville is not some Pauline Kael conspiracy. This is a great movie, justly and deeply loved.