Alice Hyatt (played by Ellen Burstyn, who won an Oscar for her performance) is a widowed mother trying to start a singing career while raising a growing son (Alfred Lutter). In the early portions of the film, Alice works as a waitress at a diner owned by "Mel" (Vic Tayback); these scenes served as the springboard for the popular TV sitcom "Alice."
Won: Best Actress in a Leading Role (Burstyn), 1975 Academy Awards
Nominated: Palme d'Or, 1975 Cannes Film Festival
A point of departure, this is Scorsese's tribute to the classic woman's film, offering Ellen Burstyn a solid role for which she won her only Oscar Award. -- Emanuel Levy, EMANUELLEVY.COM