The film features a bravura turn by Mary Kay Place (“The Big Chill”) as a woman struggling to help her drug-addicted son while dealing with a simmering guilt that stems from an old transgression. It was executive produced by no less a cinematic light than Martin Scorsese. “Diane” debuted at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, where it earned the top prize for best narrative film and picked up screenplay and cinematography awards.
In a rave review, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman praised Place’s performance and called the film “haunting.”
“It’s a tender, wrenching, and beautifully made movie, and part of what’s revelatory about it is that it’s a story of boomers who are confronting the ravages of old age (disease and death, the waning of dreams), yet they’re doing it with a stubborn echo of the hopes and desires they had when they were younger,” Gleiberman wrote.
IFC plans to theatrically release the film in early 2019. The film follows Diane (Place) as she navigates her life in western Massachusetts, spending her days caring for others and putting herself last. Her life revolves around her cousins, her friends, her aunts and uncles, the people she serves at church suppers, and her grown son, Brian (Jake Lacy), who is constantly in-and-out of rehab.
The cast also includes Andrea Martin, Estelle Parsons, Deirdre O’Connell, Joyce Van Patten, Phyllis Sommerville, Glynnis O’Connor and Paul McIsaac.
When not putting together the New York Film Festival, Jones is a writer and filmmaker. He wrote the book “Physical Evidence” and directed the 2015 documentary “Hitchcock/Truffaut.”
“Diane” is a Sight Unseen and AgX production. It was produced by Luca Borghese, Ben Howe, Caroline Kaplan and Oren Moverman. Scorsese executive produced the film with Julia Lebedev, Eddie Vaisman and Leonid Lebedev.
“Kent Jones is a revered member of the independent film community and we could not be more thrilled to be partnering with him on his evocative first narrative feature,” said Jonathan Sehring and Lisa Schwartz, co-presidents of IFC Films/Sundance Selects. “It’s a moving portrait and character study of a woman that transcends expectation. Mary Kay Place’s performance is a revelation. The IFC family is extremely proud to be working with Kent and the film’s producers to bring this heartfelt film to audiences around the country.”
Jones added, “For me, IFC Films has always been a kind of gold standard in film distribution. Over the years, as the business has changed in so many ways and on so many levels, they’ve stayed true to the art of cinema: in other words, they buy movies not because they think they’re ‘distributable’ but because they believe in them. I’m so proud that they will be the ones to bring Diane out into the world.”
IFC’s upcoming films include Lars Von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built” and Paul Dano’s “Wildlife.” The deal for “Diane” was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, IFC’s EVP of film acquisitions and productions, and ICM Partners.
“Diane” will screen this Friday at the Locarno Film Festival.