Kent JonesDiane, which I strongly feel is 2019’s best film so far, has been playing and streaming for a bit more than a week. I know for a damn fact it will be a Gotham/Spirit Awards contender at the end of the year, but yesterday I heard from a cranky friend who didn’t care for it (“Huh?”), and now there’s a significant gap between the 95% Rotten Tomatoes critics rating and the 63% audience score. If you’ve seen it, please weigh in. Here’s my 3.27 rave.

Cranky friend: “I saw Diane on Amazon last night for about $5 dollars. Here’s my review in a word: Huh?

“I’m obviously alone in my feelings about this one-note, slice-of-life picture. So glad it’s not my slice! A miserable face…driving on wintertime country roads…writing lists…driving…the miserable face in another location…more lists…more driving…another situation…the face rarely changes….SPOILER…then it is old and dies (maybe).

“This movie got raves! I must be missing something about MKP’s “…brilliant… amazing…etc. …” portrayal of Diane’s unrelenting misery. I don’t know. This picture was written for MKP. Why her? Is this how she is in real life? One dimensional? A mopey Mary? She didn’t look so mopey at press conferences. But then, it’s easy to play mopey.

“Why was she stuck in that mood? I’ve been with friends who have lost a twin, and even they let in rays of sunlight and humor. They welcomed it. They looked for it.

“Even during the bar scene, which she plays her favorite morbid tunes on the jukebox, her face remains stoically in the position intentionally chosen by director and actress for this time in Diane’s life….for our time with her.

“Why couldn’t the character have remembered a brief happy moment while she was dancing and given us a small smile. But nope. Not our Diane.”