Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

    Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold


    Griffin Dunne’s years-in-the-making documentary portrait of his aunt Joan Didion moves with the spirit of her uncannily lucid writing: the film simultaneously expands and zeroes in, covering a vast stretch of turbulent cultural history with elegance and candor.

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    • Joan DidionSelf
    • Griffin DunneSelf
    • Hilton AlsSelf
    • David HareSelf
    • Phyllis RifieldSelf
    • Amy RobinsonSelf
    • Shelley WangerSelf
    • Harrison FordSelf
    • Tom BrokawSelf
    • Susanna MooreSelf


    • 88

      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.
    • 80

      New York Magazine (Vulture)

      Her ability to take in the chaos and darkness of the ’70s and find some kind of acceptance through her writing is what makes her as relevant as ever.
    • 80

      The New York Times

      Ms. Didion’s triumph, as a writer and a human being, has been to take the age for what it is, to pinpoint how she saw it, and to stick it out.
    • 80

      Village Voice

      Seeing the breadth of Didion’s work and its impact on the culture represented cumulatively delivers an unexpected shock to the system.
    • 70


      Didion speaks very bluntly here, and sometime shockingly.
    • 70

      Los Angeles Times

      It's that the closeness with Dunne, as well as his complete familiarity with the boldface-names life she and her husband led in both Los Angeles and New York, has given this film a quality of personal intimacy that makes it moving and involving.
    • 63

      Movie Nation

      Entirely too much of the preceding film is precious, self-absorbed, self-serving, superficial bordering on in-bleeping-sufferable.
    • 60


      Its workmanlike cinematic language can’t quite capture the urgency and expansiveness of Didion’s vision as a writer, and how keenly and bitingly she managed to forecast the insanities that plague our time.