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Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017)

2:20 | Trailer
Literary icon Joan Didion reflects on her remarkable career and personal struggles in this intimate documentary directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne.


Griffin Dunne
3 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Hilton Als Hilton Als ... Self
Tom Brokaw ... Self
Dick Cheney ... Self (archive footage)
Jim Didion Jim Didion ... Self - Joan's brother
Joan Didion ... Self
Griffin Dunne ... Self - Joan's nephew
John Gregory Dunne John Gregory Dunne ... Self - Joan Didion's Husband (archive footage)
Quintana Roo Dunne Quintana Roo Dunne ... Self - Joan Didion's Daughter (archive footage)
Tony Dunne Tony Dunne ... Self - Joan's nephew
Harrison Ford ... Self - Actor / Carpenter
David Hare ... Self
Catherine Hearst Catherine Hearst ... Self - Patricia Hearst's Mother (archive footage)
Patricia Hearst ... Self (archive footage)
Linda Kasabian ... Self (archive footage)
Ed Koch ... Self - Mayor of New York (archive footage)


Literary icon Joan Didion reflects on her remarkable career and personal struggles in this intimate documentary directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne.

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Did You Know?


The featured instrumental song is called Sandusky by Uncle Tupelo. See more »


Features Play It As It Lays (1972) See more »


Written by Nathan Halpern & Chris Ruggiero
Performed by Chris Ruggiero
Copticon Music and Jasper vs Sanchez (ASCAP)
All rights reserved
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User Reviews

Her Answers Will Surprise You
15 November 2017 | by dear_prudenceSee all my reviews

Joan Didion was born in 1934, the same year as Gloria Steinham. They both intrigue me as women writers who earned a living as outsiders--reporters--investigating gender, class, community, and the seismic shifts of the larger cultural world from refreshingly different perspectives.

I confess I didn't know much about Didion's personal life--her famous in-laws, her famous friends--and the documentary flicks out photographs, interviews, and archival footage that are a delight to discover. The film gives you a peek into the intimate life of an intriguing person who worked hard to stay hidden, even though her books are so personal. There is a detachment she employed as a writer to report back to us. The documentary strips away some of the distance.

I found the interviews with Dunne fascinating. Her answers surprised me. I loved seeing how the thread of her life weaved through politics, subcultures, music, film, and her own family. And kudos to Griffin Dunne (and several members of her extended family) for putting this together right now. A reflection worthy of your time.

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Release Date:

27 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Production Co:

Didion Doc See more »
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