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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)
Learn more

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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 »


Five To One
Written by John Densmore, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger & Ray Manzarek
Performed by The Doors
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV licensing
See more »

User Reviews

Extremely watchable even if you've never read Joan Didion
17 June 2018 | by tracynormanSee all my reviews

Confession: until I watched this documentary, I had never heard of and obviously therefore, never read, any of Joan Didion's novels. So what attracted me to watch this when it was suggested to me on Netflix? Well, the era that it covered, the fact that it said she is a literary icon, and the fact that she is Griffin Dunne's aunt and that he directed it (big fan of Griffin Dunne). The style, grace and beauty of the subject also intrigued me. Having finished watching it, I then watched the trailer here on IMDB and I am so glad that I didn't see the trailer first as it gives everything away and, even though you might guess at a few things along the way, it would most definitely have lessened my enjoyment of the story unfolding at the pace that the director/writer/producer would have liked me to.

This is a beautifully crafted piece of work. It has a gentleness and fragility about it that makes you want to whisper for the rest of the day. It was such a delight to be able to really focus on this film without the sensationalised over the top music screaming at me in short bursts, that is so prevalent now in programming. Thank you so much Griffin Dunne.

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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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Didion Doc See more »
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