Parents' Guide to

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Deeply affecting doc about great writer has mature themes.

Movie NR 2017 94 minutes
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For those already familiar with Didion's life and work, this documentary is a loving tribute; for those who don't know her, it's a revelation. Didion is expressive, articulate, and charismatic. She brings those qualities center stage, especially when she reads from her own writing, and it reveals how truly gifted she is. And on top of that, Dunne has gathered a group of formidable and engaging colleagues who are equally eloquent and who all admire and love their friend.

But Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold isn't a movie that simply extols the many virtues of its subject. Didion is too complex, too fierce, too self-aware for that. With her distinctive voice, her ability to look deeply into her own soul, and the relentlessly productive life she's led, Joan Didion is an uncommon woman, and her nephew has made a film that is as remarkable as its subject.

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