Monday, December 14, 2015

Diane Keaton's Classic Film Canon

Loretta Young, Myrna Loy and many other strong actresses are often overlooked in the film canon.  It's becoming harder and harder to exclude women these days.  But some women have to be included in the canon due to the films they've starred in.

Take Diane Keaton.


1) ANNIE HALL -- she won the Academy Award for this comedy directed by Woody Allen.  A classic that's still nodded to and ripped off repeatedly.

2) REDS -- Warren Beatty directed (winning an Academy Award) and co-starred in this film with Diane, Jack Nicholson and Maureen Stapleton (who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress).

3 and 4) THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II -- Diane's face as Al Pacino closes the door on her may be one of the strongest images from the two films.  This is a rare case of the sequel actually being as powerful (or more) than the original.  The cast also includes Marlon Brando, Talia Shire, James Caan and Robert Duvall.

5) SLEEPER -- Woody Allen's hilarious look at the future and a government out of control. This is the film that made reviewers realize Diane Keaton was more than just sufficient with a funny line of dialogue, she was actually a gifted comedian.

6) LOVE AND DEATH -- Diane and Woody follow up with this hilarious romp where they plot to assassinate Napoleon.

7)  MRS. SOFEL -- Gillian Armstrong is a gifted director and one of the few female directors to earn attention from the male fan boyz.  This film finds Diane co-starring opposite Mel Gibson.  This is also one of two films she's done which was directed by a woman.

8) SHOOT THE MOON -- Alan Parker's powerful film starring Diane and Albert Finney.  Her performance is so strong in this film that it may have undercut her chances for an Oscar for REDS (some argued give it to Katharine Hepburn for her wind-up doll, self-parody role in ON GOLDEN POND because Keaton's work in SHOOT THE MOON would surely result in an Oscar the following year -- in reality, she didn't even get nominated).

9) MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY -- Diane reteams with Woody Allen who proves he can still be hilarious after a series of films that mixed drama with comedy.

10) SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE -- this Nancy Meyers comedy pairs Keaton with Jack Nicholson and also co-stars Keanu Reeves and Frances McDormand.  One of Keaton's biggest money makers, the film also resulted in her being nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.

These are the ten that are not in dispute.

We'd argue the comedy FIRST WIVES CLUB, the comedy BABY BOOM, the drama THE GOOD MOTHER, the comedy-drama MANHATTAN, the comedy PLAY IT AGAIN SAM, the drama/neo noir LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, and the flawed THE GODFATHER PART III should also be included in the canon.

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