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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

B-Movie Actress Feature Spotlight: Diane Lane

Current Net Worth: $35 million

Born and raised in New York City on January 22, 1965, Diane Coleen Lane won her first stage role aged 6 and nabbed her first film role at 13, starring opposite Laurence Olivier in 1979's A Little Romance. At the time, Olivier, himself, dubbed Lane the ''new Grace Kelly''. She rode high in Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders, The Cotton Club and Rumble Fish alongside Matt Dillion in breakout turns, as she transitioned towards more mature and adult roles. In addition to being Coppola's leading lady, these films were noted to have put Lane on the map, as well as secured a spot on the front page of August's Time Magazine, the following year as they declared her as one of Hollywood's ''Whizz Kids''. & even the great Andy Warhol pegged Lane, ''the undisputed female lead of Hollywood's brat pack''. But then came The Cotton Club, which is cited as the beginning of the decline of her big star movie career, and after that, she never truly secured a starring role in a big popular hit movie. Right after The Cotton Club, Lane took a brief hiatus from the acting business and moved to and settled in Georgia with her mother. 


            

Taking a 3-year exile, she returned to the big screen with a 'Lonesome Dove' stint and following on, landed bit-part and supporting roles in films such as the well-acclaimed Chaplin, comedy-drama misfire, Jack (and her 3rd collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola) to the sci-fi flop, Judge Dredd. The decade of the 1990s saw Lane's career venturing into different avenues, but rarely finding outright success.      
                                                                      
In what could probably be the key point, - and moreso regret of her career -, was of her turning down the female lead role as a prostitute, Vivian Ward in Garry Marshall's 1990 rom-com smash hit, Pretty Woman, due to scheduling conflicts. And thus it eventually went to Julia Roberts, who came off the back of Steel Magnolias, a year earlier and the film's success catapulted her career, grossing millions at the box office. At the time, before Roberts's inclusion, Pretty Woman initially had a much darker script with Diane Lane's version of Vivian in mind -, but when Roberts was cast, the script was retooled as a frothy rom-com this time around with a happier ending. Julia Roberts's co-star Richard Gere of Pretty Woman costarred in three movies with Diane Lane: The Cotton Club, Unfaithful and Nights in Rodanthe. Diane also turned down roles in Ron Howard's Splash & Risky Business. 

In 2002, Lane landed the main role in Adrian Lyne's erotic thriller, Unfaithful as the unhappy wayward wife who has an affair with a Frenchman behind her husband's back; resultingly, whilst the film was not well received, her performance led to Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations. It did not pay off with a win, nor propelled her to further stardom but in follow-ups Under The Tuscan Sun & Just like Mona, these suggested that Lane finally found her solid footing in her career in less intense and physically demanding roles. 


''I never wished that I was a superstar. Hell, I never even wished that I was an actress'' - Diane Lane

Many media outlets have dubbed Diane as a 'lifer'; a term that commonly refers to institutionalised persons, despite being in showbiz since her early teen years and whilst she has managed to redeem herself in little-known indie and B-movies (Under The Tuscan Sun, Rumble Fish, The Perfect Storm as Mark Walberg's onscreen wife), Lane's commercial and so-called big-money Hollywood efforts have been met with derisory and negative reception (namely the Robin Williams comedy, Jack, Sci-fi flick, Judge Dredd, with both films panned by critics, rom-com Must Love Dogs alongside John Cusack, crime thriller Killshot which was plagued with issues, such as delays and screenplay tweaks and Murder At 1600 with Wesley Snipes). 

Lane is a moderately okay actress, but based on the character roles she has obtained, despite how respected she is by her peers, due to the substandard nature of the scripts she receives, she lacks the 'wow' factor and her performances, but for Under The Tuscan Sun, Lane has never impressed me and whilst the roles she undertakes attempt to challenge her as an actress, contrary to others I'd hardly consider Lane as a heavyweight actress - and has never really been a consistently strong performer. At best, she's just.... okay. There is just not one single performance of hers that truly blew me away and makes me say, ''wow, that was extraordinary''. That, and occasionally she seems to be miscast in certain roles that she has played & movies she's been in. It is also noted that the majority of roles she's undertaken involves her taking her clothes off within a total of 50 films (including the likes of the 1992 thriller, Knight Moves co-starring with her then-husband, Christopher Lambert), with some made- for- TV fare, and some theatre fare. Producers seem more interested in her body and figure than her acting skills, although this appears to have changed these days, with Diane Lane getting older. 



So how did it not quite go in the direction most people have intended? Why didn't Lane become a huge star? 

Well, though she has received acclaim for some of her performances, these were in movies that weren't relatively and widely known to the public. The two films that were cited to have done wonders for Diane Lane, Rumble Fish and The Cotton Club, were both commercial and critical bombs and with that, her career was in limbo from the mid-1980s to beyond. Her filmography consists of several notable mainstream and commercial films, with the rest of them being unknown and independent fare. Her commercial offerings are less well received than her lesser known and not as financially successful movies. She never truly broke out as a major star and as a performer, and she is one of those actresses, where for certain, perhaps she is going to be great and go all out in the acting stakes. But, and I say BUT when she doesn't go all out, it's even more disappointing- although Lane did secure a gig on DC Entertainment's 2013's Man of Steel alongside Superman's Henry Cavill, as Martha Kent, Clark Kent/Superman's adoptive mother. Her recent stint was in 2017's Justice League live-action movie. 

Life in the Hollywood fast 'lane' for Diane has seen its ups and downs and it has been a rocky, but also ambivalent career so far. 



Notable Favourites:

Under The Tuscan Sun, Inside Out, The Rumble Fish, Tully

Notable Non-Favourites:


Judge Dredd, Unfaithful, Must Love Dogs, Jack, Murder at 1600, Knight Moves, Killshot








Sources:

Diane Lane - Wikipedia 

Diane Lane - Biography 

Diane Lane Career Assessment - Wife For Life, Pajiba.com

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