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 

Overall Rating

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

1 review, 0 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Tom and Jerry by Peter Sobczynski

Stylist, The by Rob Gonsalves

Rumble Fish by Jack Sommersby

Saint Maud by Rob Gonsalves

One Night in Miami... by Rob Gonsalves

Wanting Mare, The by Rob Gonsalves

Tenet by Rob Gonsalves

Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez by Rob Gonsalves

Judas and the Black Messiah by Peter Sobczynski

Minari by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed

Love and Diane
[] 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 film’s 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 Diane’s 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 grandmother’s 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 it’s difficult to try and summarize in bland terms. Despite Diane’s 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 “Tootie.” When Diane requests help from her therapist, the matter is taken out of the family’s 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, it’s 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 film’s 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 isn’t there — or even attempt to airbrush it — but the shape it takes can almost be seen as pure luck (not for the family, of course, but for the richness of the family’s 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 — behind the camera — through the participant’s 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. It’s involving in a way that daytime talk shows exploit and undermine, that play people’s tragedies and mistakes as a gross parody or joke, as seen on Ricki Lake or Jerry Springer. Dworkin’s 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, it’s 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
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.

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




Directed by
  Jennifer Dworkin

Written by

  Diane Hazzard
  Donyaeh Hazzard
  Love Hazzard

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 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