best film: The Godfather would be the easy choice for almost every actor in film history, so it is no surprise it is Diane Keaton’s strongest as well. But there is company here for at the top for Keaton- The Godfather: Part II is not far behind the 1972 original, and both Annie Hall and Manhattan land in the top 100 of all-time. So Keaton bests even Julianne Moore here. Still though, It is Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 crime opus that lands at the top here. Keaton’s part in the film, and series, is nowhere near as essential to the film as Pacino, Brando, Gordon Willis, Nino Rota and others- but her scenes with Pacino and her portrayal of Kay are absolutely vital to the film. She also gets the dazzler of a perfect ending.
best performance: Annie Hall wins by a landslide here despite her strong contributions to a many other films over the course of her career. Keaton is the titular Annie of course and her transformation carries the arc of the film. Woody as Alvy Singer is consistent, very funny- but it is Keaton who gives the hands down best performance in the film. She sings (and not only sings- but sings with vulnerability), is awkward, charming and authentic.
stylistic innovations/traits: Keaton’s last archiveable was 1993 and that is a weakness. Still though, her work from 1972 to 1993 holds up with the best of that era. Keaton has many strengths- for starters, she is in four of the top 100 films of all-time. That is hard to top. Her blowup scene with Pacino in The Godfather Part II in particular is one of the key scenes of the entire trilogy. Keaton has the broader “early, funny films” with Woody of course as well like Sleeper and Love and Death– but then also the more mature art-house Woody films in the late 1970s’ like the aforementioned Annie Hall, Interiors and Manhattan. Her skill set translates to both comedy and drama alike- and her work in 1981’s Reds is important (though it broke up her and Woody) to show that she is much more than just the fortunate person who was cast in a bunch of Woody Allen and Francis Ford Coppola films when they were at their creative peaks.
directors worked with: Woody Allen (7) and Francis Ford Coppola (3). She has thirteen (13) total archiveable films and eleven (11) were in collaborations with Woody (he did not direct Play it Again, Sam but he did write and co-star) or Coppola.
top five performances:
- Annie Hall
- The Godfather: Part II
|1972- Play It Again, Sam|
|1972- The Godfather|
|1974- The Godfather: Part II|
|1975- Love and Death|
|1977- Annie Hall|
|1982- Shoot the Moon|
|1987- Radio Days|
|1990- The Godfather: Part III|
|1993- Manhattan Murder Mystery|