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Plot, Details & Awards

Lenny

R In Theaters 02/4/1997 , 111min.
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Plot & Details

Adapted by Julian Barry from his own Broadway play, Lenny manages to be both brutally frank and highly romanticized in detailing the short life and career of influential, controversial stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce. The chronology hops, skips and jumps between Lenny (Dustin Hoffman) in his prime and the burned-out, strung-out performer who, in the twilight of his life, used his nightclub act to pour out his personal frustrations at great, boring length. We watch as up-and-coming comic Bruce courts his "Shiksa goddess," a stripper named Honey (Valerie Perrine). With family responsibilities, Lenny is encouraged to do a "safe," conformist act, but he can't do it. Constantly in trouble for flouting obscenity laws, Lenny develops a near-messianic complex, which fuels both his comedy genius and his talent for self-destruction. Worn out by a lifetime of tilting at Establishment windmills, Lenny Bruce died of a drug overdose in 1966. Director Bob Fosse chose to film Lenny in black-and-white, giving the film the texture of a documentary. Though a film as verbally graphic as Lenny could not have been made when the real Lenny Bruce was alive, audiences in 1974 responded, to the tune of an $11 million gross.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1974 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actress Valerie Perrine Nominated
1974 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Dustin Hoffman Nominated
1974 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Marvin Worth Nominated
1974 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Cinematography Bruce Surtees Nominated
1974 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay Julian Barry Nominated
1974 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Bob Fosse Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1975 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Most Promising Newcomer Valerie Perrine Won

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1974 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Dustin Hoffman Nominated
1974 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director Bob Fosse Nominated
1974 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama Valerie Perrine Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1975 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Most Promising Newcomer Valerie Perrine Won

Cannes Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1975 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Valerie Perrine Won

Directors Guild of America

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1974 Directors Guild of America Best Director Bob Fosse Nominated

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1974 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated
1974 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Valerie Perrine Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1974 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actress Valerie Perrine Won

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