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The Good, The Bad & The Badass: Diane Lane

03.28.2016
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Last week, we took a look at the career of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE's new Alfred, Jeremy Irons. This week's subject is another formidable supporting player from that film...
Diane Lane
diane lane

This entry in “The Good, The Bad & The Badass” has been long in coming. Diane Lane is a particular favorite of ours here at JoBlo.com, or rather a particular favorite of mine and JoBlo.com's ace YouTube guru Nick Boswoth, who often helps me out on these. I heard once that Diane Lane was the inspiration for Bon Jovi's classic rock anthem “You Give Love a Bad Name.” OK, so this may not be true but as a fan of hers I choose to believe it is and regardless, one could easily see how Jon Bon Jovi could fall for her – hard.

diane lane judge dredd

While Lane never quite made it to the Hollywood A-list until her breakout part in UNFAITHFUL, by that point she's already been in the game for more than twenty years. She made her debut at the tender age of twelve in the comedy A LITTLE ROMANCE, opposite the great Sir Laurence Olivier. From there she became something of a child-star, popping up in tons of stuff, even once opposite Kenny Rogers in his kids flick SIX PACK (a movie I watched a couple of times as a kid – being a fan of Kenny's in my younger years). Always gorgeous, Lane first flirted with the big-time when Francis Ford Coppola cast her in his pair of S.E Hinton adaptations, THE OUTSIDERS and the avant-garde RUMBLE FISH. A year later, she played the female lead in his mega-budget flop THE COTTON CLUB. That movie almost ended Coppola's career and seemed to put a damper on Lane's for awhile and looking back, at only eighteen she was too young to be cast opposite Richard Gere as his love interest (although they repaired twice years later in UNFAITHFUL and NIGHTS IN RODANTHE).

diane lane streets of fire

Her biggest stab at stardom came in 1984, when she was cast as rock goddess Ellen Aim in Walter Hill's STREETS OF FIRE. While she didn't do her own singing, Lane looked every bit the rock star and had solid chemistry with leading man Michael Pare, but the film – for whatever reason – tanked. Still, thirty years later STREETS OF FIRE is still a cult classic, so what do people know? From there Lane worked steadily, but only really began to pick up acclaim once Coppola used her again in JACK, which led to an Independent Spirit Award nominated turn in A WALK ON THE MOON, and later her Oscar-nominated part in UNFAITHFUL, which catapulted her to the A-list.

Since then, Lane has done consistently good work, both on the big screen in movies like SECRETARIAT and TRUMBO, and on the small one with an excellent turn in HBO's CINEMA VERITE. While I maintain that Lane is far too young to be playing Superman's mom in MAN OF STEEL and DAWN OF JUSTICE it can't be denied she brings gravity to the part, even though I think Lane deserves more projects specifically built around her. Hopefully she'll get the opportunity she deserves as she's still one of the most vital leading ladies in the biz.

Her Best Work
diane lane unfaithful

It was a rather pleasant surprise when Lane got nominated for her turn as an adulterous wife in Adrian Lyne's steamy UNFAITHFUL. A box-office hit, Lane is magnetic as the stunningly sexy housewife stifled by a husband who's allowed their love-life to grow stale, leading to her torrid romance with Olivier Martinez. It all comes to a surprisingly unconventional end, with some ambiguous morality regarding a plot twist and Lane is excellent as the lead, stealing the show from co-star Richard Gere, who arguably has the juicier part. It's no wonder this made Lane a star, although it would have been nice had Hollywood cast her in more varied parts than the rom-coms she found herself confined to in the years that followed.

Her Most Overrated Film
diane lane mark wahlberg the perfect storm

One movie I never got the love for is THE PERFECT STORM. Now, I'm sure some of you out there think Wolfgang Petersen's film is a classic, but to me it was always mawkish and manipulative. As for Lane, while she's a welcome presence she's a little too glamorous for the earthy part she's supposed to be playing. Ugh – I've just never really liked this film even if the CGI is great.

Her Most Underrated Film
diane lane ben affleck hollywoodland

Fans of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE might be interested to know that this isn't the first time Ben Affleck and Lane co-starred in a Superman movie. In fact, Affleck, who plays Batman in this one, got to indirectly play the Man of Steel in Allen Coulter's HOLLYWOODLAND. As original Superman TV star George Reeves, Affleck is excellent while Lane is superb as his mysterious, (slightly) older lover, Toni Mannix, wife of notorious Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (in a strange twist, a fictionalized version of whom was just played by Lane's ex-husband Josh Brolin). Lane's rarely gotten the chance to really sink her teeth into really juicy material like this, and it's a treat to see her do her thing in a part very evocative of the type icons like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford played in the era this depicts.

Her Best Scene

OK, so this isn't anywhere near her best scene, but as this is a column called “The Good, The Bad & The Badass” Nick and I thought we should go with something kinda badass. As such, here is Lane's fight with Joan Chen from JUDGE DREDD. While not a good movie, Lane made for a good action heroine and it's a shame she never really got to explore the genre beyond this.

Her Five Best Films

5. THE COTTON CLUB
4. HOLLYWOODLAND
3. STREETS OF FIRE
2. MY DOG SKIP (a great tearjerker)
1. UNFAITHFUL

Up Next

Always prolific, Lane's got a full plate of films coming up in addition to (I presume) a role in JUSTICE LEAGUE PART 1. Her most ambitious future project seems to be the film FELT, where she plays the wife of the notorious Watergate source “Deep Throat” - Mark Felt (played by Liam Neeson).

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Source: JoBlo.com

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4:56PM on 03/28/2016
Hating on Perfect Storm?! William Fichtner doesn't star in bad movies.
Hating on Perfect Storm?! William Fichtner doesn't star in bad movies.
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12:14PM on 03/28/2016
Had a huge crush on her when I first watched Streets of Fire (a very underrated movie, by the way). I think her most underrated work is Judge Dredd. If it's only Sly and Rob Schneider alone, the movie would be very dull. Thanks Heaven Diane Lane was in the movie as well.
Had a huge crush on her when I first watched Streets of Fire (a very underrated movie, by the way). I think her most underrated work is Judge Dredd. If it's only Sly and Rob Schneider alone, the movie would be very dull. Thanks Heaven Diane Lane was in the movie as well.
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10:16AM on 03/28/2016
One of the most beautiful and talented women in the business. A goddess.
One of the most beautiful and talented women in the business. A goddess.
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