Daily Archives: September 20, 2020

Diane Lane in Europe

Under the Tuscan Sun (Audrey Wells, 2003) and Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola, 2016) are thirteen years apart and feature Diane Lane at her most cinematically escapist.  She plays a woman experiencing difficulties in her love life in both films (divorced in the former and neglected in the latter) and watching her go through major and minor inconveniences in Italy and France is the perfect respite from the demands of reality.  

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Although the films’ plots aren’t wholly relatable in how “everything works out,” the picture-book, cottage mise-en-scene makes one forget the substantial absence of cell phones and the internet in Under the Tuscan Sun and the very practical appearance of the smart phone in Paris Can Wait.  What one focuses upon isn’t on how the characters communicate with each other via technology, rather, it is their ability to deal with whatever situation is at hand — the bulk of the dull logistics happens in offscreen space.  

Wells’s film, based on the book of the same name by Frances Mayes, may have been the first time Diane Lane made a deep impression on me.  I’d seen her in The Outsiders (Francis Ford Coppola, 1983), Murder at 1600 (Dwight Little, 1997), A Walk on the Moon (Tony Goldwyn, 1999), The Glass House (Daniel Sackheim, 2001), and Unfaithful (Adrian Lyne, 2002), but it wasn’t until she portrayed a woman who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany that I really paid attention to her onscreen persona.  Although her filmography arguably isn’t stuffed to the brim with award-winners, critical masterpieces, or sleeper-hits, it encompasses a range of genres and roles.  Furthermore, Diane Lane’s countenance evokes warmth, resourcefulness, healthy nonconformity, and a sincerity that is classy, chic, and cool.  Why eat, pray, or love when you can find yourself a good Diane Lane romance (preferably in Europe) and wish she could be your neighbor?

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Pic creds: IMDB