Academy Awards 1978 -
Best Supporting Actress: Maggie Smith
Variety - 12/13/1978
"...Fonda demonstrates yet another aspect of her amazing range, making her one of the most dynamic feminine screen stars in decades..."
New York Times - 12/22/1978
"...Simon in top form....The writer and the director have assembled a dream cast..."
New York Times - 12/31/1978
Included in the New York Times's "10 BEST FILMS OF 1978"
Neil Simon's bittersweet comedy, adapted from the Broadway hit, follows four separate stories of guests who've just checked into the swank Beverly Hills Hotel over the weekend of the Academy Awards gala. The four-part story line runs the gamut from touching introspection to outright slapstick. Bill and Hannah Warren (Alan Alda and Jane Fonda) are an angry divorced duo engaged in a nasty custody battle over their daughter. Marvin Michaels (Walter Matthau) is in town a day before his devoted wife (Elaine May) for his nephew's bar mitzvah when his brother sends him a present that is difficult to hide--a hooker. Diana Barrie (Maggie Smith) is an Oscar-nominated British actress in town for the Academy Awards with her husband, Sydney (Michael Caine), who happens to be gay. Competing doctors Willis Panama (Bill Cosby) and Chauncey Gump (Richard Pryor) have been busy containing calamities befalling them since they arrived and discovered they had to share a hotel room with their crestfallen wives. CALIFORNIA SUITE, in the capable hands of director Herbert Ross, is a simultaneously touching and hilarious vision of everyday people struggling to survive. (Smith, interestingly enough, won an Oscar for her role in the film.)
Essential Cinema |
James Coburn makes a cameo appearance in the movie-within-a-movie--he pilots a light plane.
CALIFORNIA SUITE is a classic Neil Simon comedy that takes place at the Beverly Hills Hotel during the weekend of the Academy Awards celebration. Herb Ross's film follows the misadventures of four groups of guests, including a divorced couple battling over the custody of their daughter (Jane Fonda and Alan Alda), a husband who gets caught with a hooker in his room by his wife (Walter Matthau and Elaine May), a British actress nominated for an Oscar and her straying gay husband (Maggie Smith and Michael Caine), and two competing doctors and their wives forced to share a hotel room (Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor).