10 Best Diane Keaton Movies
It’s hard to say if there is a more versatile and evenly-dispersed actress than Diane Keaton. Known for both her involvement with Oscar-winning, critically-acclaimed films and lighthearted, charming romantic comedies, Keaton is not one to limit herself to one specific type of movie or role. She’s a rare breed: an actor willing to split her time evenly between serious projects and not-so-serious ones. She’s perhaps most known for her frequent collaborations with certain directors, but she’s actually delivered some of her most memorable work outside of those parameters. That’s not to say that those performances aren’t still worth checking out, though. All in all, Keaton is an A-lister not afraid to have fun with her work — even after all these decades.
The Godfather: Part II
While she’s actually in all three — she plays the wife to Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone — Keaton gets the most screen time in The Godfather: Part II. Considered by many to be the superior entry in the trilogy, Keaton brings a much-needed pathos to this endlessly quoted story about a bunch of Italian mobsters. Not only would her character’s absence leave a gaping hole in the story, but Keaton’s performance specifically brings a special something to the film.
One of the first instances where Diane Keaton was really given the chance to shine, Annie Hall is named after her character for a reason — she’s the star of the show. Hers is one of the most iconic and beloved performances in film history, proving to be a style icon and a role model still to this day. There’s really no Annie Hall without Keaton at the center.
Love and Death
Another collaboration with the filmmaker behind Annie Hall, Love and Death sees Diane Keaton playing one half of a duo dead-set on assassinating Napoleon during the height of czarist Russia. It’s a witty film, to be sure, but Keaton really is the best thing that the film has going for it. It’s short, sweet, and another excellent vehicle for the actress.
From writer and director Warren Beatty, Reds sees Keaton and Beatty playing feminist icon Louise Bryant and left-wing journalist John Reed caught up in the Communist revolution in Russia between 1915 and 1920. It’s a grand romantic adventure and a history lesson in one, with Keaton and Beatty both giving incredibly memorable performances. It’s a must for any movie fan or history buff.
Something’s Gotta Give
One of a few movies Keaton stars in from filmmaker Nancy Meyers, Something’s Gotta Give follows the actress and Jack Nicholson as a playwright and a swinger, respectively, as they start to fall for each other (against both of their efforts to resist each other). Like anything else Meyers has released, the movie is a touching and heartfelt delight. Like anything Keaton has starred in, the actress is undoubtedly the star of the show.
Based on a play by the same name, Marvin’s Room tells the story of a woman with leukemia who tries to end her decades-long feud with her sister in order to receive some of her bone marrow. It just might save her life — if the estrangement between the two doesn’t kill her first. The movie stars Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Keaton as one of the most memorable ensembles of the 90s, but it’s Keaton who really packs a punch.
Again collaborating with the writer and director of Annie Hall, Sleeper stars Keaton as a poet on the run from the police who gets caught up with a nerdy health food store owner who has woken up to find himself 200 years in the future. He’s being pulled in many different directions, with many different forces trying to use him as a pawn in a war against an oppressive US government, but it’s almost as if Keaton’s character wants nothing to do with him. It’s an inventive parody, but it’d be much less impressive if Keaton wasn’t involved.
Alongside Mary Beth Hurt and Kristin Griffith, Interiors follows Keaton as she plays one of three sisters whose lives go into a spiral upon learning of their parents’ imminent divorce. It’s dark and real, above all else, and Keaton brings a complexity that is uniquely her own. There’s a little humor here and there, of course, but Interiors is a serious and substantial outing for Keaton.
Play It Again, Sam
Upon being left by his wife for being too boring, a neurotic film critic finds himself haunted by the ghost of Humphrey Bogart’s character from 1942’s Casablanca. It’s an absurd idea, but a pretty solid film. Keaton plays one half of a married couple determined to help the critic get back out into the dating pool. It’s a love letter to Casablanca, first and foremost, but Keaton’s doing her best to stand out despite this.
The First Wives Club
Accompanied by Bette Middler and Goldie Hawn, The First Wives Club stars Keaton and the rest as a trio of divorcees hell-bent on getting revenge on the husbands who dumped them for younger women. It’s a revenge comedy like no other, and one of a few 90s movies that utterly and completely belong to Keaton. She’d be just fine without this movie, but the film is all the better because of her.
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