In the wake of JFK’s assassination, under the shadow of the Vietnam war, an independent presidential candidate is running, bold and cheap, under the banner of the Replacement Party: their unbelievable platform includes banning lawyers from Congress and re-writing the national anthem. This uncanny Perot-like figure is never seen, but his campaign wagon blares out rambling, pre-recorded speeches as it lumbers through the film unnoticed. The backdrop is Music City, the characters a myriad and hero- less cross-section of America. The lone foreigner is an insufferable reporter from BBC whose aimless monologues provide satirical counterpoint to the film’s deadpan delivery. -IMDb
Nashville was lauded by major film critics. Pauline Kael described it as “the funniest epic vision of America ever to reach the screen”, and both Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin gave the film four-star reviews and called it the best film of 1975. In his original review, Ebert wrote, “…after I saw it I felt more alive, I felt I understood more about people, I felt somehow wiser. It’s that good a movie.” On August 6, 2000, he included it in his Great Movies compilation. The film currently has 95% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
In 1992, Nashville was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In 2007, the movie was ranked #59 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies – 10th Anniversary Edition list; it did not appear on the original 1998 list. The song “I’m Easy” was named the 81st Best Song of All Time by the American Film Institute (AFI).