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All of Me (1984)


By Heather Joslyn | Posted

They say for actors to win Oscars, their characters have to either cry or die. Well, Lily Tomlin dies in 1984's All of Me, but she wasn't even nominated for the prize, and neither was her co-star, Steve Martin, despite the fact that both gave terrific, fully committed performances. All of Me is a flat-out screwball comedy and the Academy Awards are notorious for ignoring laugh-fests, however brilliantly played. Martin is Roger Cobb, an attorney who's been retained to help the dying, filthy rich Edwina Cutwater (Tomlin) revise her will. She's about to undergo a dubious New Age procedure that she hopes will give her a second chance at life: At the moment of death, her crabbed, ailing spirit will be "captured" and deposit it in the healthy body of a lovely young woman (Victoria Tennant), who will then inherit all of Edwina's earthly assets. As things so often do in screwball comedies, something goes horribly awry, and Edwina winds up in Roger's body instead, much to their mutual horror. Tomlin is hilarious as an imperious dowager who treats her host's body like a shabby hotel room, and Martin is masterful at conveying the slapstick awkwardness of a man who is quite literally not himself. His walk alone should have won him Best Actor--and maybe Actress too.

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