California Suite (1978)

The 1978 Neil Simon farce, "California Suite," directed by Herbert Ross, is composed of four unrelated stories, all taking place at the Beverly Hills Hotel; it's sort of "Grand Hotel" for our times.

Michael Caine and Maggie Smith portray a British actress, Diana Barnes, and her antique-dealer husband who finally face some hard interpersonal truths (he's bisexual), when they arrive from London to attend the Academy Award ceremonies.

As the hard-drinking, hard-talking actress, Maggie Smith won a second (Supporting) Oscar for playing a disenchanted British actress, who complains that "acting doesn't win Oscars; what I need is a dying father."

Jane Fonda and Alan Alda play a divorcing couple in the most melodramatic tale of the four.

The third, unfunny act involves Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor play doctors whose vacation turns into a disaster.

Elain May plays a jealous wife who unexpectedly discovers hubby Walter Matthau with a prostitute.

Oscar Nominations: 3

Supporting Actress: Maggie Smith

Screenplay (Adapted): Neil Simon

Art Direction-Set Decoration: Albert Brenner; Marvin March

Oscar Awards: 1

Supporting Actress

Oscar Context:

Oliver Stone won the Screenplay Oscar for the thriller "Midnight Express.  The Art Direction award went to the comedy "Heaven Can Wait."





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