Only Billy Wilder has been more Oscar-nomination friendly in the top six categories than Woody Allen. The crusty old master has garnered 21 total nominations to the Woodman’s 19 — one as an actor, six for directing and 12 for writing. And Allen films have a way of accumulating nominations, especially for actors.
Collecting noms in just the 1990s for Woody films have been Judy Davis, Chazz Palminteri and Jennifer Tilly, and Dianne Wiest won the 1992 supporting actress Oscar for “Bullets Over Broadway” while Mira Sorvino picked up the same award for “Mighty Aphrodite” (1994). So, Allen’s newest picture, “Deconstructing Harry,” has a headstart on the competition by pedigree. As well, Woody’s starring in this one — always a plus for Allenphiles.
“Deconstructing Harry’s” chances are clearly best in the directing and writing arenas. However, last year’s innovative and critically well received romantic Woody musical, “Everybody Says I Love You,” was completely ignored by the Academy despite its critical acceptance for a game non-musical cast willing to break into song.
The “Deconstructing” cast is packed with familiar faces, including Allen-pic returnees Judy Davis, Julie Kavner, Mariel Hemingway and Caroline Aaron along with a not-so-small galaxy:
Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Demi Moore, Amy Irving, Elisabeth Shue, Kirstie Alley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eric Bogosian, Bob Balaban, Stanley Tucci, Richard Benjamin and Eric Lloyd.
Classic Oscar credentials: 1 (Neurotic writer’s sexual life isn’t exactly “Out of Africa.”)
Cause celebre: 0 (Woody doesn’t do social causes.)
Vanity element: 6 (He is the Woodman)
The David vs. Goliath Syndrome: 3
The feel-good movie of the year factor: 4 (A few laughs are guaranteed when Woody isn’t doing Bergman.)
The unavoidable, inexorable buzz pic: 4 (Venice buzz strong)
Idiot savants have more fun: 1
Timing is everything: 9 (Could we wait any longer?)
O.Q. total: 28