Diane


Mary Kay Place knows she won’t get an Oscar for her performance here, even though she deserves one.

(2018) Drama (IFC) Mary Kay Place, Jake Lacy, Estelle Parsons, Andrea Martin, Deidre O’Connell, Glynnis O’Connor, Joyce an Patten, Kerry Flanagan, Phyllis Somerville, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Ray Iannicelli, David Tuttle, Marcia Haufrecht, Mike Hartman, Cara Yeates, Gabriella Rhodeen, Charles Weldon, Paul McIsaac, Laura Knight, Teri Gibson, Ann Osmond, Dierdre Friel. Directed by Kent Jones

The movies that often affect us the most deeply are the ones that are quiet little slices of life. So, that would describe Diane to a “T.” Set in rural Massachusetts, Diane (Place) is a retired widow who spends most of her days caring for others – her cousin (O’Connell) dying of cervical hospital in a sterile hospital, her son Brian (Lacy), killing himself with a drug habit, her aging friends and the homeless, to whom she serves food at the local shelter.

We see Diane driving around the area down beautiful, snow-covered roads that look like a cinematic Currier and Ives Christmas card, but as we watch her go through her appointed rounds we begin to unravel the fact that despite the veneer of caring and compassion, Diane is a broken soul, carrying around burdens of guilt that any Catholic would understand.

Place gives the kind of performance that wins awards although, sadly, she was overlooed for most of the major ones. 70 years old at the time of filming, Place gives the kind of dogged characterization that we unwrap layer by layer until we are left with the core of the woman as the film comes to a breathtaking end. While the movie never got the acclaim it was due in many ways, you can happily rectify that situation by giving it a watch yourself. This is a gem of a movie that should be on every cinema buff’s radar.

REASONS TO SEE: Despite the sometimes-painful subject matter, the film is nevertheless full of warmth. Place gives a career-best performance. Strong interpersonal dynamics throughout.
REASONS TO AVOID: Occasionally a bit too stark.
FAMILY VALUES: There is profanity and drug use here.
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Jones, a film critic of note, wrote the title role with Place specifically in mind for it.
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Amazon, AMC Plus, AppleTV, Curia, DirecTV, Google Play, Hulu, Roku Channel, Tubi, YouTube
CRITICAL MASS: As of 1/21/22: Rotten Tomatoes: 93% positive reviews; Metacritic: 86/100.
COMPARISON SHOPPING: Time Out of Mind
FINAL RATING: 8.5/10
NEXT:
Uppercase Print

New Releases for the Week of January 21, 2022


REDEEMING LOVE

(Universal) Abigail Cowen, Tom Lewis, Logan Marshall-Green, Famke Janssen, Nina Dobrev, Eric Dane, Ke-Xi Wu, Brandon Auret. Directed by D.J. Caruso

A bitter young girl, sold into prostitution as a child, finds love in an unlikely source in this story set during the California Gold Rush. The movie is based on a novel by Francine Rivers which is in turn inspired by the Old Testament story of the prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Romance
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic content, sexual content, partial nudity, and strong violent content)

The King’s Daughter

(Gravitas) Kaya Scodelario, Pierce Brosnan, Fan Bingbing, William Hurt. The aging Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, is desperate to find the secret to immortality and believes at last that he has found it – through the possession of a mermaid. He commissions a young sea captain to find him one, a move complicated when the king’s daughter stows away on board.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Fantasy
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: PG (for some violence, suggestive material and thematic elements)

Parallel Mothers

(Sony Classics) Penelope Cruz, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde. Two single women meet in a Spanish maternity ward as they await to give birth; one, middle-aged and eagerly anticipating motherhood, the other young, frightened and apprehensive in this new film from the legendary Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Dramedy
Now Playing: Enzian
Rating: R (for some sexuality)

The Souvenir – Part II

(A24) Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton, Richard Ayoade, Ariane Labed. A graduate film student who recently extricated herself from a toxic romance with a manipulative older man, attempts to reorder her life, separate fact from elaborately woven fiction and complete her graduate studies and film project.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Drama
Now Playing: AMC Disney Springs
Rating: R (for some strong sexuality and language)

The Tiger Rising

(The Avenue) Queen Latifah, Dennis Quaid, Christian Convery, Katherine McPhee. A young 12-year-old boy discovers a caged tiger in the woods near town, setting off a journey that will enlighten him and send him on a road to adventure.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Family
Now Playing: AMC Altamonte Mall, AMC Disney Springs, Cinemark Lakeland Square, Cinemark Orlando, Cinemark Universal Citywalk, Fashion Square Premiere
Rating: PG (for thematic elements, language and brief violence)

Unsilenced

(Zhen) Sam Trammell, Ting Wu, Anastasia Lin, Tzu-Chiang Wang. A cynical American reporter, having lost faith in his profession and in his nation, covers events in China in 1999 when the Chinese government in a move of unbridled repression, banned the practice of Falun Gong in that country. Based on true events.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: True Life Drama
Now Playing: Cinemark Orlando
Rating: R (for some violence)

WarHunt

(Saban) Mickey Rourke, Robert Knepper, Jackson Rathbone, Josh Burdett. After an Allied plane crashes in the Black Forest in the waning days of World War II, a squad of elite soldiers is sent to retrieve sensitive material the plane was carrying, but the soldiers find themselves in a battle for their lives when supernatural forces beyod their understanding come into play.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Studio Movie Grille Sunset Walk
Rating: R (for violent content, language, and some sexual references)

COMING TO VIRTUAL CINEMA/VOD:

A Shot Through the Wall (Friday)
Butlers in Love (Saturday)v
Confession (Tuesday)
Deadly House Call (Sunday)
Hollywood Fringe (Tuesday)
Love on the Road (Sunday)
MICerz (Tuesday)
Munich: The Edge of War (Friday)
My Father’s Violin (Friday)
Picabo (Friday)
The Royal Treatment (Thursday)

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

Munich: The Edge of War
Parallel Mothers