- 1 hr 35 min
Diane, directed by Kent Jones, is a character study examining the life of a woman named Diane, played brilliantly by Mary Kay Place, who feels like she's wasting her life away. The movie premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and received critical acclaims for its realistic portrayal of aging and redemption. The film takes place in rural Massachusetts, where Diane lives and spends most of her time visiting her sick friends and family, who are fighting cancer and other illnesses. This trend seems to have started in response to the death of her son years ago, and it shapes her current lifestyle. In the film, we see a woman who seems to be avoiding something, be it her past, her family, or even herself, through constant busyness and the helping of whomever may need it. Diane's life has been characterized by subjugation to family and friends, taking their suffering and helping to change it.
Mary Kay Place delivers an excellent performance as Diane. The nuances in her acting show Diane's unique ability to keep her emotions bottled up while burying herself in others' challenges. When her interactions with her family and her son, played by Jake Lacy, become more involved, the exposed chinks in Diane's armor become even more apparent.
The film doesn't do its audience any favors by spelling everything out through exposition. It's not until halfway through the film that a clear sense of direction or purpose emerges. However, it's hard not to care about the life of a woman, who is devoted to those close to her beyond reason. As she begins to grapple with the reality of growing old and losing the things that she values most, perhaps, she will finally reach her breaking point and choose herself.
Diane's son, Brian, who is now a recovering addict, enters her life again. After being estranged for years, Diane tries to repair their relationship. Brian is unreliable and contentious, and their interactions are strained throughout the movie. Eventually, Diane must come to a realization that she can't control everything around her, and must let the people she loves deal with their problems on their own to move forward.
The subtle details in the relationship between Diane and her friends and family are what make the experience of watching Diane so compelling. The movie never tries too hard to sell its story but maintains an air of realism throughout.
In the final act of Diane, we see its titular character brought to her lowest point. However, it is within that moment that she is finally given a bit of redemption for her many years of caring for others. The ending is not by any means happy-go-lucky, but it is hopeful and bittersweet.
Overall, Diane is a hauntingly realistic portrayal of the life of someone overwhelmed by life's demands, but who continues to persevere, regardless of the emotional cost. The movie is relatable, heartfelt, and showcases an incredible performance by Mary Kay Place. For those who enjoy character-driven dramas, the movie is a must-watch.
Diane is a 2019 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 86.