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187 Ratings

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

Directed by Griffin Dunne
United States, 2017


A feature length documentary about the legendary author, screenwriter, journalist, essayist, fashion icon, Joan Didion.

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Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold Directed by Griffin Dunne
Anyone who likes those Paris Review pieces about the minutiae of writers’ existence will enjoy this film. We learn that Didion used to start the day in dark glasses, always with a cold glass of Coke at hand; she also, when stuck, likes to put a difficult manuscript in the freezer. Literally in the freezer. It’s a very beautiful film, rich in images, from family photos and home-movie moments… to found material, for which Dunne and editor Ann Collins share a very acute eye.
October 27, 2017
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A fond and appreciative portrait of one of American journalism’s superstars, “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold” may not contain any revelations that will surprise those who’ve followed Didion’s eloquent, often autobiographical writing over the years. But the fact that it was made by her nephew, actor/filmmaker Griffin Dunne, gives it a warmth and intimacy that might not have graced a more standard documentary.
October 27, 2017
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The relationship between Mr. Dunne and Ms. Didion limits the movie in certain ways, but opens it up in others. Mr. Dunne’s longtime family connections and his own prestige as a filmmaker no doubt helped him snag interviews that other documentarians would be hard-pressed to schedule. Ms. Didion’s friend Calvin Trillin is among the interviewees, and while I’d never dare suggest that great writer is not a big get, I was impressed in a different way when Harrison Ford showed up.
October 24, 2017
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