Saturday, June 12, 2010

Diane Keaton in "Reds"

Diane Keaton received her second Oscar nomination for playing socialite, Louise Bryant, in Reds.

Reds is an overblown, but well intentioned film, about the 1917 Russian Revolution. But, like any epic, we also get a love story. This time it's between journalist John Reed and married socialite Louise Bryant.

We first meet Louise when John does, she sees him a political lecture, and she is immediately interested. After she meets him, she feels her life is rather uninteresting, leaves her husband and joins Reed and his friends in their politics. Her only escape has been her writing, and her life is finally lightened when she becomes more interested in radical politics.

Louise Bryant is a chance for an actress to really show her abilities. And unfortunately for me, Diane Keaton is a missed opportunity.

I suppose it's the way she plays the role, it's almost on one note. Take the train scene for example, here she merely looks nervous, and when she is finally reunited with Reed, she simply sighs. It's borderline robotic acting. Not to mention her character really changes, but watching Keaton play her, it's impossible. Her acting never goes from point A to B.

But, I must say her presence in Reds is immense. Warren Beatty's camera is in love with her, with many closeups, that really work. However, it is that robotic acting that really brings it down. Even the affair with Eugene O'Neill (Jack Nicholson), Keaton never shows the emotions her character is feeling. Not to mention the way she sprouts out her lines, it all just doesn't mash up. She has to act with her eyes sometimes, and these scenes works, it's until she has to deal with some sort of emotion that it fails.

18 comments:

joe burns said...

I think she'll be fifth. What did you think of Beatty and Nicholson?

Sage Slowdive said...

Warren Beatty is at his most self indulgent here.

Jack Nicholson gives one of his best performances.

Louis Morgan said...

I agree with basically everyone you say, especially about Reds being overblown.

Sage Slowdive said...

Did you find Keaton to be underwhelming? Or in the least, one note?

Louis Morgan said...

Whoops meant to type "everything you say". I found her to be underwhelming and basically one note.

Sage Slowdive said...

Well, at least, I found someone who agrees with me ;)

Twister said...

Its funny because Keaton was the front runner that year, but everyone now seems divided on her.

Hepburn's win here is definitely not as bad as her '67 win.

Fritz said...

It's been a while since I saw it but I thought the train station scene was fantastic.

joe burns said...

How would you rank the Best Picture nominees this year?

Sage Slowdive said...

1. On Golden Pond/Chariots Of Fire (can't really decide)
3. Atlantic City
4. Raiders
5. Reds

Twister said...

How's it goin' Sage?

Off topic question:

What your ranking for Best Picture 1988?

We should combine ideas for some kind of Oscar blog project. I know we talked about it before, but we should think of some things. That is of course if you're interested...

joe burns said...

What are some years you would say were really strong Best Picture lineups?

Sage Slowdive said...

I'm good :)

88 was HORRIBLY weak...my pick is The Accidental Tourist.

joe burns said...

Did you like The Fish Called Wanda?

Celso said...

Hey, great text, Sage! I particulary like this performance, and so far, she is my winner for 1981. I'm also fond of Hepburn, her "knight in the shining armor monologue" is brilliant!
Hey Sage, just an off-topic question: do you have a link for "Room at the top"? And do you remember Signoret screentime?

Sage Slowdive said...

Not really, but I thought it offered some good performances.

Sage Slowdive said...

Don't have a link, Celso, but thanks anyways!

I think I remember she had around 30 minutes.

joe burns said...

Here's a link to A Room At The Top

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw0Br358Qt0