Tuesday, January 05, 2021

5 Off My Head: Keen on Keaton

I have to admit that I am a wee bit surprised, having glanced back through our Diane Keaton Archives here on the occasion of the actress' 75th birthday, that I have never done this before, but it appears true -- I have never done a list of my favorite Diane Keaton performances. Now perhaps there's a reason for this -- perhaps I knew beforehand that my list of favorite Diane Keaton performances wasn't going to light anybody's beak on fire? My favorites are kind of exactly what you'd think my favorites are. But still -- my favorites are really favorites -- when she's good she's so very good. That run in the 70s is just gee-gosh-gee I mean you know. An all-time fave.

My 5 Favorite Diane Keaton Performances

Kay, The Godfather (1972)

Theresa, Looking For Mr Goodbar (1977)

Louise Bryant, Reds (1981)

Sister Mary, The Young Pope (2016)

Annie, Annie Hall (1977) 


Runners-up: Manhattan Murder Mystery, Love and Death,
The First Wives Club, Something's Gotta Give, Manhattan

Never seen: Crimes of the Heart, Marvin's Room, 
Baby Boom, Shoot the Moon, Mrs. Soffell


What are your favorite Diane Keaton performances?


Anonymous said...

Okay. You've got to watch SHOOT THE MOON as soon as possible! It's urgent.

Jason Adams said...

I was actually surprised to see how many roles of hers I still haven't seen. I guess I've been putting them off for a rainy day. I THINK IT MIGHT BE RAINING.

Pierce said...

I think her best performance is Shoot the Moon. She is heartbreaking in that film. She's also marvelous as Amelia Earhart in the TV movie Amelia Earhart: The Last Flight. She's delightful in Love and Death, beautifully cerebral in Interiors and wonderful as Annie Hall.

She's sensational as Louise Bryant in Reds, and she's aging beautifully. Something's Gotta Give, The First Wives Club, Book Club and Baby Boom are marvelous performances as well. She's one of my top five favorite actresses along with Sylvia Sidney, Vanessa Redgrave, Agnes Moorehead and of course, Bette Davis.

John said...

I've seen some of her movies. I have on DVD First Wives Club. I will see Reds and am curious about Looking for Mr Goodbye but you can't get that on home video

joel65913 said...

LOVE her but I am in such a minority in that I detested Annie Hall completely. I've tried a couple times with it over the years thinking perhaps my opinion would change but every time it's nails on the chalkboard.

However there are plenty of other roles she's played that I'm a huge fan of. I just think that excepting The Young Pope she's stopped challenging herself about 15 years ago. It would be great to see her offered a role worthy of her talent.

All the ones you're missing contain strong work by her and includes two of my favorites. I'll join in with everyone else in saying find a copy of "Shoot the Moon" ASAP!! I think it's her best performance even if it's not my favorite of her films.

As with most future stars of the 70's she paid her dues in one off appearances in popular TV series of the day. I remember watching a repeat of the Mike Connors show "Mannix" one day and who should pop into the scene but her!! She was SO young but her signature persona was already more or less in place. In her bio she spoke about how nervous she was about her part and how kind Connors was. Sensing that she was having trouble he had the set cleared and walked her through the scene until she was comfortable with what she was doing.

My top 10:

Baby Boom-A star vehicle crafted to every one of her strengths.
Shoot the Moon-So powerful and she's matched every step of the way by Albert Finney.
Mrs. Soffel
The Godfather
The Young Pope
Father of the Bride-I know the role doesn't require much of her but she's utterly charming in it and her scene where she dresses down Steve Martin in the jail is perfection.
Manhattan Murder Mystery
Looking for Mr. Goodbar-I didn't enjoy the movie (having read the book and found it despairing I didn't expect to) but she is excellent in it nonetheless.
Running Mates
Marvin's Room

The only one of her films I'm missing from her major starring period is "The Little Drummer Girl" which I've never read anything but savage reviews of. In a way that makes me more curious but it seems to be impossible to find but I'm sure I'll track it down someday!

John said...

She made Looking For Mr. Goodbar and Annie Hall in the same year and she thought Goodbar would be her breakout...guess not

bdog said...

Manhattan is probably my favorite of all of hers, but I've loved her in everything. But the film of hers that I have seen the most is First Wives Club. I can watch that anytime, much like The Birdcage.
Morning Glory isn't a good film, but she's great in it.
Goodbar is excellent, but it's one of those films I just can't watch, it's too much.
She's incredible in Mrs. Soffel.
Love and Death/Sleeper are still funny.
She is an incredible talk show guest, and her books are great reads.

Anonymous said...

Shoot the Moon is terrific. And gotta love Keaton, Sissy Spacek, and Jessica Lange as sisters in Crimes of the Heart.

She's also on the original Broadway cast recording of HAIR, of all things.

Anonymous said...

You must watch Baby Boom. It's peak Keaton.


JWFordNYC said...

One of the best scenes of all time is in Godfather II, when Kay looks as Michael with a mix of hate, disgust and exasperation and says, "Oh Michael, Michael, you are blind.... It wasn't a misacarriage. It was an abortion."