Review: DIANE Is A Subtle And Effective Character Study

FIRST IMPRESSION

Diane is a solid character study because of interesting themes, a sympathetic protagonist, and Mary Kay Place's great lead performance.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Diane is a new drama film written and directed by Kent Jones. The movie tells the story of Diane, an aging woman who spends her days volunteering and trying to connect with her junkie son as her memories begin to fade and she must come to terms with parts of her past that she would rather forget.

The story is rather straightforward. It is a slice-of-life film that follows the everyday activities of the protagonist. This movie is more about the characters and themes than the plot, so you have to be ready to sit down to think about and analyze the film when you go to watch it. The pacing can be trying at times, but it is worth it.

The protagonist of the movie is very compelling. Memory loss is one of the most terrifying and stressful parts of getting older, and the film really capitalizes on that feeling to make the protagonist and her story more sympathetic. The most effective scenes in the movie are those in which you are able to see the ways in which she is changing and fading away.

diane group
Mary Kay Place as “Diane” in Kent Jones’ Diane. Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films release.

On the other hand, the supporting characters felt far less developed. The most frustratingly underdeveloped character was the protagonist’s son, who is given an extremely unsatisfying arc. In the beginning of the film, he is on one side of the spectrum, and midway through the end, he is at the other extreme. There is no time spent explaining his transition between the extremes of personality, which would have been helpful in making him more sympathetic.

That being said, the movie does have some very interesting messages about identity and a sense of self. The most impactful evaluation of this comes in the later portions of the film involving religion. Some of the commentary that the movie offers on this front is surprisingly honest and insightful into the way in which people are affected by religious identity.

diane son

The best part of the film is the ensemble. Mary Kay Place is absolutely wonderful as the eponymous character. She does a great job of giving the character the emotion and humanity that was needed for the movie to be effective. Jake Lacy is very good in his supporting role too, having a very impactful but small turn as the protagonist’s drug addict son.

On a technical level, the film was solid, but not particularly mind-blowing. The cinematography is simple, but elegant. The editing is similarly straightforward but effective. For a quiet drama like this, a level of simplicity is expected and understandable, as having visuals that are very flashy can be distracting. Instead, the movie is subtle and emotional with its techniques.

Overall, Diane was a solid drama. Although the film is a tad slow, the protagonist is a very complex and interesting character with a story worth watching.

Diane is in theaters and on VOD beginning March 29.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The Comedy Store (2020) Official Trailer | SHOWTIME Documentary Series

This documentary series brings to life the legends, heartbreak and history created at The Comedy Store, which over the past 47 years has launched the careers of a breathtaking array of stars. As a Comedy Store alum, former stand-up comic Binder spotlights one of pop culture’s great laboratories with never-before-seen footage and incisive, emotional interviews…

The Walking Dead: World Beyond: A Look At Season 1

The cast and creators introduce the kids at the core of the new series in The Walking Dead universe and discuss what to expect from the first generation to grow up in the apocalypse. The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres Sunday, October 4 10/9c. Watch more from The Walking Dead: World Beyond https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpHpwO1E70A&t= Subscribe to…

Penis Superpower | Beth Stelling: Girl Daddy | HBO Max

Beth Stelling outlines the differences between penises and vaginas. Stream Girl Daddy now on HBO Max. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxYouTube Be the first to know more: HBO Max: https://hbom.ax/YT Like HBO Max on Facebook: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxFacebook Follow HBO Max on Twitter: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxTwitter Follow HBO Max on Instagram: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxInstagram About HBO Max: HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering with…

Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth | Official Trailer | HBO

The rise and fall of a beloved shock jock. Wild Card: The DownFall of a Radio Loudmouth premieres October 7 at 9 pm on HBO and HBOMax. #HBO #HBODocs #WildCardHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Stream on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBODocs Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbodocs Wild Card:…

World’s Funniest Animals | Season 1 Episode 1 | Surfs Up Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of World's Funniest Animals Saturdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/streamWFAyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico.…

Vacation In Place: Trailer (Official) • Now Streaming on Hulu

Take a mini vacay right from your couch with our Vacation In Place scenics. Now streaming on Hulu. SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: http://www.youtube.com/hulu?sub_confi START YOUR FREE TRIAL http://hulu.com/start FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hulu/ Hulu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hulu Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hulu

We Are Who We Are: Series Premiere (Full Episode) | HBO

There's a revolution going on inside of you. #HBO #WeAreWhoWeAre Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 From Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, We Are Who We Are follows a group of teens growing up on an American Army base outside of Venice, Italy struggling to find their own identities as…

Next on Episode 11 | Our Cartoon President | Season 3

Cartoon Joe Biden sets out to earn his place as the face of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile,  Cartoon Don Jr. and Cartoon Eric Trump try to develop a miracle cure for coronavirus. Watch new episodes of Our Cartoon President on Sundays at 8:30/7:30c on SHOWTIME. #OurCartoonPresident Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: https://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now:…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here