My Pilgrimage: Chapter Twelve: Diane Keaton
By Michael Moriarty
I don’t like reading about someone I love as much as I do Diane Keaton.
What many people concentrate on about her, what Francis Ford Coppola called her “eccentricity”?
I know it as her genius.
Her inner vision is a consciousness that is clearly on the other side of mere common sense… which, for me, means her genius.
The man with the greatest number of Academy Award nominations in his career, Jack Nicholson, knows her best.
Why do I say that?
She gave what is indisputably her most indelibly divine performance when she co-starred with Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give (2003).
From what I could gather from a brief encounter with Jack Nicholson in 1981, at a pizza joint in New York City, he not only had just returned from filming Reds with Ms. Keaton but, beyond being amazed by her emotional freedom, it seemed he had fallen in love with her.
I didn’t bring her up in the conversation.
Over 20 years later…?!
They reunite in a love story that… well… it’s still my favorite.
Of all love stories on film, including the great high water mark created by Ingrid Bergman and Humphry Bogart in Casablanca, my favorite romance, of all time, is Keaton and Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give.
Having worked with Jack Nicholson in Last Detail, the legend of his bringing the best out of actors in the cast with him?!
Indisputably a part of cinematic history.
As I’ve indicated, whatever direction his presence on the set with Ms. Keaton took her?!
There’s no other performance in film history, female or male, that, in my opinion, can quite match it.
She’s “all business”!
And the energy of that seriousness?!
It can make an entire film just explode off of the earth and into emotional regions you never thought possible until Diane Keaton takes you there.
Jack’s job, knowing his love and admiration for his co-star?!
He just handed the film to her, knowing full well that his truest feelings about Ms. Keaton, his love for her, would just lift her off into those divine regions I’ve mentioned… and, of course, make the film’s love story my favorite record of life and art… of mutual love and admiration… a permanently perfect part of film history.
They were wise never to appear together again in another film.
It would only be a let-down.
As they say, after Something’s Gotta Give, “How do ya follow that?!”
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.