Film Festivals

Tribeca 2018: Diane Review

This will be the first of several reviews from this year’s Tribeca film Festival. To follow our coverage, click here.

Synopsis: In his narrative film debut, Kent Jones brings us the story of Diane, a widowed, altruistic septuagenarian whose life is dictated by the needs of others. She fills her days serving food to the homeless, visiting ailing friends in the last years of their lives, and, most centrally, desperately attempting to reach her drug-addicted son, despite his repeated efforts to push her away. But as these pieces of her existence begin to wither and fade, she finds herself forced to look at her own identity—and memories she’d sooner forget than face. (Tribeca)

Starring: Mary Kay Place, Jake Lacy, and Andrea Martin

Writer: Kent Jones

Director: Kent Jones

Rating: n/a

Running Time: 95mins

Trailer: n/a

When you’re so focused on taking care of others, it’s easy to forget about yourself or maybe that’s the point. The film was about an elderly widowed woman named Diane (Place). She had almost nothing left so she had devoted the majority of her life to help others, including those who were near the end of their lives. As these people would slowly go by the wayside, she would feel guilty for being somewhat responsible for their deaths and would think of her own demise.

There was definitely a lot going on underneath the surface but she remained strong. Diane would constantly look fatigued while splitting her time between others and her drug-addicted adult son Brian (Lacy) for whom she had a contentious relationship. He was just another person she tried to help for a long time but he wasn’t necessarily willing to accept help. Her fear of the worst was just another cause of stress in her life.

The best part of the film was Place’s powerful performance as Diane. As mentioned, she gives Diane layers of depth and was compelling to watch. Diane had so much emotional baggage but she carried herself with grace and warmth. Lacy showed considerable range as Brian, bringing plenty of emotion to the role.

Overall, this was a great drama that was beautiful to watch, grounded with truth on every level, and features an excellent lead performance from Mary Kay Place.

Score: 9/10

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