WHO SHOT LESTER MONROE?
(BLUE CIRCLE MOVIES)
You would not be incorrect, exactly, if you called this a glorified home movie, but it is glorified, and the home central to it is that of the director, who happens to be Tom T. Hall, and the producer, who happens to be his wife, songwriting partner and co-star, Miss Dixie. It features “an all-star bluegrass music cast,” including Dale Ann Bradley, Alecia Nugent, Larry Stephenson, Don Rigsby and Larry Cordle, and many others familiar to those steeped in the bluegrass universe. It is, a lot of the time anyway, very funny. As the title suggests, it’s a murder mystery, sort of, involving the death of the vaguely familiar but unsurprisingly forgotten imaginary bluegrass luminary Lester Monroe. The pace overall is far from hard-driving, but the laconic, mainly improvised scenes have their own charm, and you will find yourself waiting for the appearances of not particularly accomplished detective Shanghai Jim, played by Tom T. himself, with all of the laid-back, dead-on pacing and killer word choice for which his more musical endeavors are known.