Not so long ago Woody Allen played Alvy Singer in Annie Hall alongside Diane Keaton. It was 1977, cocaine was still fun and people stopped in the middle of the street to argue about books. The Annie in question was played by Diane Keaton, who had her own existentialist crisis to solve (and would not tackled Alvy’s), had an unhealthy fear of spiders and was prone to the endearing phrase ‘la-di-da.’
One Monday in April, Keaton was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center for her achievements in film. The event had been announced to the press months in advance, the hype-machine was in full effect. A bevy of funny people attended, like Martin Short, Steve Martin, Candace Berger, Lisa Kudrow and of course, Woody Allen, who made some quips about his long-running friendship with the iconic actress and said about Annie Hall that he had written all the funny jokes for his own part, and that Keaton ended up stealing the spotlight.
It would be easy to dismiss Keaton as a product of the 70s (hippie like countenance, cultivating a look), bound to repeat yet another variation of her former self. But a fresh viewing of some of her best moments in film (Looking for Mr. Goodbar, 1977; Interiors, 1978; Annie Hall, 1977; Radio Days, 1987) reveal a solid path over the vagaries of the film industry. Keaton stayed the course, shedding her impressionable young girl from the West image (well, most of it) and keeping busy with three new projects currently under production. The gala on Monday night was quite the cachet event in New York and should have the socialites, as well as the film people, talking for some time.
I think it rather behooves Keaton to keep on filling the same big shoes with roles that matter and films that steal our hearts.