Monday, November 8, 2010

Reel Insight Episode 21: Diane Keaton

We had a great time talking about things OTHER than Diane Keaton this week.  And for the first time, we conceded on the Top 3 to general consensus, rather than coming up with our own choices (what can you do when someone is in the Godfather flicks?) and just did TWO BOTTOM 3.  Turns out we just don't care for her movies very much.  However, it also turned to ZOMBIES, with discussion of the new AMC mini-series The Walking Dead and a Jesse Eisenberg love-fest for The Social Network and Zombieland.  Check it out here or on itunes.

Manhattan - This was one of Woody Allen's early movies I'd heard of, but never seen.  I think when it came out in the 1970s it would have been unique and controversial, but Allen's personal life is just a bit too much "life imitating art" when you see Manhattan now.  He of course stars as a bumbling New Yorker, divorced from a gorgeous Meryl Streep, dating a 17-year old Mariel Hemingway, just mirrors his own real life too much not to be distracted by it and put the creepiness on the character.  He ends up dating Diane Keaton, who was having an affair with his best friend.  It doesn't end well and he goes back to Hemingway.  The soundtrack is terrific with lots of classic music about New York or falling in love and the cliche of the city being a character in the film cannot be ignored - it's right in the title.  But perhaps because it's been 30 years, this movie doesn't stand out as anything special.  Keaton is good as a strong, educated woman doing whatever she wants, but I confess I just wanted to know more about Streep's character.  Check her out here. 

Crimes of the Heart - What was it about the early 1980s that somehow told movie makers that they should layer all their movies with lots of music to create a mood?  With something like Crimes of the Heart, it only distracts from the actually powerful story.  Three sisters, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek, are reunited when Spacek shoots her husband, in the suburban South in the 1980s.  Keaton has been watching after their aging grandfather who took them in when their dad left and their mom committed suicide (which needless to say screwed them all up).  Lange has been trying to make a life as a performer, but it hasn't gone well and she just pretends to be successful.  And Spacek was doing all she was supposed to, be a good wife, but her jackass husband has been ignoring her, beating her, etc. so she found someone who liked her and shot her husband.  It's a complicated story that is really well put together, though the final "moral" they all learn about their mother's suicide is too cheesy and painfully delivered so the ending robs this movie of a lot of its powerful storytelling.

Town and Country - what a terrible flick.  Great cast, lots of marriage cliches and cheating.  Stupid concept.

1 comment:

rorydean said...

Some solid points about Manhattan. It's tough looking beyond Allen's personal woes but the talent is insurmountable and hardly a reason not to read/watch/explore more of the man and his films. I personally like most of the films he is 'not in' because his manic, fast talking, quip maker personae onscreen is off putting at times though he is undeniably one of the best filmmakers working given he essentially can do anything he wants and he's had that ability for a long time based on his early successes.

Never been much of a Diane Keaton. Crimes of the Heart is a solid film regardless of her input, great seeing such a strong female ensemble. Town and Country, I can forget that one pretty easy.

Nice article or articles - I think I moved over a couple there. Always nice visiting your site.

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