KINGSTON — The evocative drama “Diane,” filmed in Kingston, Rosendale, and Saugerties and offering an uncommonly empathetic slice of a caregiver’s life, is this month’s Movies With Spirit screening at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Old Dutch Church, 272 Wall St. in Kingston.
The spiritual movie, produced by Martin Scorsese, stars Mary Kay Place as Diane, a woman rifling through her life in search of redemption.
The movie has been praised by critics. “A sharp, attuned, quiet stunner that underplays at every turn,” says film critic Adam Graham in The Detroit News. A second review added “A beautifully made and exceptionally acted portrait of a woman at the point on her path where she starts seriously considering how her life has turned out,” says Anita Katz in the San Francisco Examiner.
In the story, everyone else comes first for Diane, who is generous but with little patience for self-pity.
While set in Massachusetts, the film opens at HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus, where Diane is visiting her terminally ill, no-BS cousin, Donna (Deirdre O’Connell).
Later, she’ll check in on a convalescing neighbor, take clean laundry to her drug-addicted adult son, Brian (Jake Lacy), volunteer at a local soup kitchen and, over a meal, respond sympathetically to the familiar gripes of her longtime friend Bobbie (Andrea Martin).
But beneath her relentless routine of self-sacrifice, Diane is fighting a desperate internal battle, haunted by a past which she can’t forget and which threatens to tear her ever more chaotic world apart.
“Mary Kay Place delivers one of the year’s best performances in this shattering character study from writer-director Kent Jones in a narrative feature debut that sneaks up and floors you,” says Peter Travers in Rolling Stone.
The film’s trailer can be found on YouTube at tinyurl.com/Diane-Trailer-Movies-W-Spirit.
The 95-minute film won nine critic and festival awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Narrative Feature and Best Screenplay at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, and two Best Actress awards for Place, at the 2019 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and at the 2020 National Society of Film Critics Awards.
The film is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. The Kingston screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Refreshments will be served.
Attendees over age 12 are asked to contribute $10 a person.
According to a statement released, “the monthly Movies With Spirit series, organized by Gerry Harrington of Kingston, seeks to stimulate people’s sense of joy and wonder, inspire love and compassion, evoke a deepened understanding of people’s integral connection with others and with life itself, and support individual cultures, faith paths and beliefs while simultaneously transcending them.”
The films are screened in diverse houses of worship and reverence across Ulster and Dutchess counties from 7 to 10 p.m., on the third Saturday of every month. The series has no religious affiliation.