More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Advertisement

Overall Rating
5

Awesome100%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 0 user ratings


Latest Reviews

Wonder Wheel by Peter Sobczynski

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Rob Gonsalves

Swindlers, The by Jay Seaver

Oro (Gold) by Jay Seaver

Disaster Artist, The by Peter Sobczynski

Explosion by Jay Seaver

Lucky (2017) by Rob Gonsalves

Breadwinner, The by Jay Seaver

Endless, The by Jay Seaver

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed


Love and Diane
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"A documentary that made me cry."
5 stars

A heavy sit, and not just because of the 160-minute running-time, but inasmuch as the subject matter dealt with, and the chain of events unfolding over that course, are weighty in any number of broken down segments.

Diane is a single mother of five living children, with her eldest dead several years from a suicide, who lives in the East New York area of Brooklyn on public assistance. A former crack cocaine user and moderate alcoholic (that ran worse in other members of her family, with the last living sibling of hers dying during the filmís documentation), Diane lost custody of her children for six years and is struggling to right her wrong given her second chance. Love is one of Dianeís daughters, and when we first meet her, she is just home with her four-day-old son Donyaeh, who was born HIV-positive. Because Donyaeh is on his grandmotherís medical coverage, the family is able to move to a much nicer, spacious apartment in Flatbush and attempt to start anew. There is so much going on at all times, and little events that blow up into bigger ones, as well as genuinely dramatic elements surfacing completely on their own and out-of-the-blue, that itís difficult to try and summarize in bland terms. Despite Dianeís efforts, and the routines they take early on (particularly church-going, to pray for Donyaeh), the energy wears down and the old friction starts up again, heightened when a fight breaks out between Love and her teenage sister ďTootie.Ē When Diane requests help from her therapist, the matter is taken out of the familyís hands, as Donyaeh is removed and placed in a foster home. At about that point, the film shifts gears and takes on a whole new obstacle. Notwithstanding the constant shifts of focus and turn of events, itís all applicable to the portrait being made of the Hazzard family, and director Jennifer Dworkin has been granted a great deal of space to observe and present the people she films. One of the filmís strongest points, so necessary to be a good documentary, is the participation of the Hazzard family, and their willingness to open up to the camera. The film never feels manipulative, nor does Dworkin come across as trying to paint a picture that isnít there ó or even attempt to airbrush it ó but the shape it takes can almost be seen as pure luck (not for the family, of course, but for the richness of the familyís plight and their presentation of it) for being there when and where things happen. Love and Diane almost takes the position of a fly-on-the-wall perspective; you often forget, or so it seems, so does the family, that the camera is rolling; only on occasion as Diane seeks out a decent outfit, or which heels to wear, etc., is it really acknowledged that someone else is there ó behind the camera ó through the participantís need to ask an opinion or talk to the invisible filmmaker as though it were a video diary. And throughout all of this, in the sense that real life is a rollercoaster with its up and downs, tilts and loops, the film maintains an emotional wallop. Itís involving in a way that daytime talk shows exploit and undermine, that play peopleís tragedies and mistakes as a gross parody or joke, as seen on Ricki Lake or Jerry Springer. Dworkinís commitment reigns through high and low, and there is so much life that is recorded without distortion or rose-colored lenses, that while the movie is lengthy and not an easy sit, itís highly rewarding and involving, which makes the two-and-a-half hours appear as not much at all.

[Absolutely to be seen.]

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8425&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/23/04 22:15:45
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:


Discuss this movie in our forum

USA
  16-Apr-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Jennifer Dworkin

Written by
  (documentary)

Cast
  Diane Hazzard
  Donyaeh Hazzard
  Love Hazzard



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
eFilmCritic.com: Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast