“Diane” is all about the external life and internal battles of an aging Baby Boomer as she goes through the mundane details of everyday living. Diane cares for everybody but herself. An empty nester, she visits friends in the hospital, volunteers at the soup kitchen, and gets together with friends. Her grown son Brian is a handful. Drug-addicted, he has been in and out of rehab. She can’t seem to get through. With her impact on her neighbors well-known, why is she troubled by something that happened so long ago? The secrets of the past refuse to let go.
An indie darling and film festival favorite, “Diane” is relatable for every woman of a certain age. But it will remind other generations of their own mother. Everyone knows a Diane.
This is a lived-in movie, and Mary Kay Place, in the role of a lifetime, immerses herself into this seemingly ordinary mother, neighbor, friend. She’s terrific – good for her! I’ve been a fan since her Emmy-winning role on “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” but after “The Big Chill,” she’s been reduced to playing insignificant supporting roles.
The sharp writing by Kent Jones, who also directed, is notable because it eloquently captures the nuances of people’s connections.
Diane is trying to make a difference in townspeople’s lives while reconciling her own messy life. And Place’s performance elevates this woman’s story with rich details.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat daily newspaper. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association.