Diane Downer (Film Thoughts: Diane)

large_diane-posterLoneliness can kill. No one will be immune to it, if you are alone. And as we grow older, it will just get worse, as we experience attacks on our mortality, and as we start to see friends and family fade away. Kent Jones captures that feeling so vividly in ‘Diane’ that really, the character should be called Debbie (as in Downer) Melancholy can be hard to capture – there has to be enough drama in it, but a little too much will spoil it entirely. Diane is helped by a great performance by Mary Kay Place. She seems to be a walking zombie of sorts – visiting her dying cousin at the hospital, circumnavigating friends getting weaker as they get older, dealing with her son who is a substance abuser. There’s too much going on, and she desperately needs to escape. There’s a lot to carry, and she does it alone. That’s why when she tries to escape, and she does this by acting foolish in a bar drunk with tequila, you feel more for her rather than try to dismiss her – in sinning she finds herself, and don’t we all sometimes resort to bad behavior for indulgence.  This film is more a character study, and we do get to know Diane well, but this also fuels something in the viewer – we get to face some of our fears, some of our internal conflicts. It’s a very insular film, and here I am still thinking about it almost a day after seeing it.

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