7.4/10
407
5 user 14 critic

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017)

Trailer
2:20 | Trailer
Literary icon Joan Didion reflects on her remarkable career and personal struggles in this intimate documentary directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne.

Director:

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This documentary uses never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews in a search for the truth behind the mysterious 1992 death of black transgender activist and Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson.

Director: David France
Stars: Victoria Cruz, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera
One of Us IV (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Penetrating the insular world of New York's Hasidic community, focusing on three individuals driven to break away despite threats of retaliation.

Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Stars: Etty, Chani Getter, Ari Hershkowitz
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.

Director: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Adam Sandler, Grace Van Patten, Dustin Hoffman
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An intimate portrait of Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue.

Director: Francesco Carrozzini
Stars: Marina Abramovic, Azzedine Alaïa, Naomi Campbell
Kingdom of Us (2017)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A documentary showcasing the struggles of one family going through tragedy.

Director: Lucy Cohen
Eva Hesse (2016)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Documentary feature film focusing on the life and times of Eva Hesse, a ground-breaking artist who was active in New York and Germany in the 1960's.

Director: Marcie Begleiter
Stars: Selma Blair, Bob Balaban, Patrick Kennedy
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Hilton Als ...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Jim Didion ...
Himself, Joan's brother
...
Herself
...
Himself, Joan's nephew
John Gregory Dunne ...
Himself, Joan Didion's Husband (archive footage)
Quintana Roo Dunne ...
Herself, Joan Didion's Daughter (archive footage)
Tony Dunne ...
Himself, Joan's nephew
...
Himself - Actor / Carpenter
...
Himself
Catherine Hearst ...
Herself, Patricia Hearst's Mother (archive footage)
...
Herself (archive footage)
Linda Kasabian ...
Herself (archive footage)
...
Himself, Mayor of New York (archive footage)
Edit

Storyline

Literary icon Joan Didion reflects on her remarkable career and personal struggles in this intimate documentary directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 October 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joan Didion  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The featured instrumental song is called Sandusky by Uncle Tupelo. See more »

Connections

Features Play It As It Lays (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Sandusky
written by Jay Farrar & Jeff Tweedy
performed by Uncle Tupelo
Courtesy of Columbia Records by arrangement with Sony Music licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"A predilection for the extreme" which dogs our subject from childhood into adult life
27 October 2017 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Writer Joan Didion's distant relatives crossed the frontier to the Promised Land (California), but not before traveling some stretch of the journey with the doomed Donner party, who separated from the Didions to cross uncharted terrain. Preparing for disaster is something Didion was taught at a young age, knew with certainty as an adult, and then maybe forgot about and had to learn again in 2003 when her adopted daughter, Quintana, became sick and was hospitalized just before Didion's husband, writer John Gregory Dunne, died of a heart attack. This stylishly-presented documentary on Didion's life, produced and directed by Didion's nephew, Griffin Dunne, promises to be a heady spread for Netflix and, indeed, we get a thorough blueprint of Joan Didion's long and winding journey. Tracing the author's path from University of California, Berkeley graduate to Vogue magazine writer in New York City in the 1950s, to author of her first novel, "Run, River" in 1963, to becoming Dunne's wife, to their move to Southern California in 1965 and adopting a baby, we get a sense of Didion's spirit as she speaks but nothing much in the way of her personality. What Griffin Dunne extracts from his subject in a recent interview is lovely frosting--listening to Joan and watching her expressive hands reaching out, pell-mell, in dramatic emphasis--but there isn't a substantial, emotional base underneath this. Vintage interview footage of Didion from cable shows and "60 Minutes" actually tell us more about Joan than what we're getting from Griffin Dunne. Interviews with friends and fellow writers add a dash of color, but no insight (actor Harrison Ford, Didion's carpenter in the early '70s, sits down just long enough to tell us how nice Dunne and Didion were to he and his family). Joan's path in life led her back to New York City, where she turned her 2005 book about grieving, "The Year of Magical Thinking", into a Broadway play starring Vanessa Redgrave. It helps to close the film on a warm note, though interested parties will learn far more about Didion just by reading one of her books--or, if pressed for time, her Wikipedia page. **1/2 from ****


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page