Saturday, April 2, 2022


Movie Name:
Year of Release: 2018
Director: Kent Jones
Starring: Mary Kay Place, Andrea Martin, Estelle Parsons, Jake Lacy, Deirdre O'Connell, Glynnis O'Connor, Joyce Van Patten, Kerry Flanagan, Phyllis Somerville, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Ray Iannicelli
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Director Kent Jones has made a name for himself as a movie critic, in parallel with having a varied career as a director of programming for Film Centers and Festivals, before embarking on a career as a documentary film maker. "Diane" is his feature directorial career, and focuses its narrative on Diane, a woman who lives in the Massachusetts area. We witness Diane continuously helping her circle of friends and family, never stopping, always making sure she's available and present for anyone who needs her. Her cousin who is in the hospital with terminal cancer, is one of the persons she visits and cares for frequently, the same going for her son, who is battling drug addiction. As Diane goes through her visits and her interactions, it also becomes clearer that the motivations for what she does are instilled from a need for redemption for actions she took when she was younger, which had a profound impact on the lives of those who were close to her. Her current close group of friends, manages to be her support system, even if some of them are also passing away. 
One of the most interesting aspects of "Diane" is the fact that the film doesn't impart judgement on its characters. It just matter of factly represents this slice of life of a woman, who when she was younger, made some decisions which altered the life of her family, something she regrets doing, and is always attempting to compensate for. This race of hers to help, care for and support, is in a way, a salvation path for her own soul, even if she ultimately always remains her own worst critic. Her relationship with her son, as difficult as it is, eventually comes to a point of stability, even if it's not necessarily as she envisioned. This is a film that allows for these characters to have interactions, to showcase their frailties, dreams and how they overcome life's challenges. There's no illustration of an instant recipe for life's meaning or a dazzling special epiphany which summarizes the narrative. This film focuses instead on the observation of how the choices people do in life, will at times haunt them forever, and how aging is in itself a distancing process for people, particularly at a time when they become all the more vulnerable. It's a wonderful tale, with terrific performances from the whole cast, in particular of Mary Kay Place, who makes Diane both someone you can empathize with, with a generous kind heart, all the while also having another aspect to her personality that slightly saltier and realistic. The cinematography from Wyatt Garfield is solid, as is the score from Jeremiah Bornfield. Worth watching.