Theme Times – Dianne Wiest

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Dianne Wiest By Alan Light

Dianne Evelyn Wiest born March 28, 1946) is an American actress. She has twice won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, for the Woody Allen films Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets over Broadway (1994), and appeared in three other films by Allen; The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Radio Days (1987), and September (1987). She also received an Academy Award nomination for Parenthood (1989), and won a Golden Globe Award for Bullets over Broadway.

Wiest’s other film appearances include Footloose (1984), The Lost Boys (1987), Bright Lights, Big City (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Little Man Tate (1991), The Birdcage (1996), Practical Magic (1998), Dan in Real Life (2007), Synecdoche, New York (2008), Rabbit Hole (2010), and Sisters (2015). She won the 1997 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Road to Avonlea, and the 2008 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for In Treatment (2008–09). Her other television credits include Law & Order (2000–02), and the CBS comedy series Life in Pieces (2015–2019).


First film l saw Dianne in was when she starred as Ariel’s mother Vi in Footloose 1984 and then from that point onwards l have seen her in many films since. I like her style, there is something about her that has always appealed. Below are her top ten best performances in my eyes – so tell me … fan or not?

1 – Hannah and her Sisters – 1986

Siblings Hannah, Lee and Holly come together for a Thanksgiving Day party. Things take a turn when Hannah discovers that her husband is secretly having an affair with her Lee.

2 – Edward Scissorhands – 1990

Edward, a synthetic man with scissor hands, is taken in by Peg, a kindly Avon lady, after the passing of his inventor. Things take a turn for the worse when he is blamed for a crime he did not commit.

3 – The Lost Boys – 1987

Lucy along with her two sons, Michael and Sam moves to a small town in California. Soon, the two boys are sucked into the mysterious and dangerous world of bikers, vampires and vampire hunters.

4 – Parenthood – 1989

Gil Buckman tries hard to balance his personal and professional life while dealing with the problems of his three children. His worries increase when he discovers that his wife is pregnant again.

5 – The Birdcage – 1996

Armand and Albert have built the perfect life for themselves tending to their gaudy Miami nightclub. But their pastel harmony is shaken when Armand’s son decides to marry Senator Keele’s daughter.

6 – Footloose – 1984

Teenager Ren and his family move from the city to a small town. He’s in for a culture shock and can’t quite believe that he’s living in a place where rock music and dancing are illegal.

7 – Practical Magic – 1998

After the death of their parents, Sally and Gillian Owens move in with their aunts, Jet and Frances. The two sisters have nothing in common except their hereditary gift for practical magic.

8 – The Purple Rose of Cairo – 1985

Unhappily married Depression-era waitress Cecilia (Mia Farrow) earns the money while her inattentive husband, Monk (Danny Aiello), blows their meager income on getting drunk and gambling. To assuage her loneliness, Cecilia escapes to the picture show and becomes transfixed with the movie “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” and especially with its lead character, archeologist Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels). When Tom literally steps off of the screen and into her life, both realities are thrown into chaos.

9 – The Horse Whisperer – 1998

Annie’s daughter, Grace, and their horse meet with a severe accident that affects them deeply. Thereafter, Annie takes the help of Tom, a horse whisperer who helps them recuperate.

10 – The Simple Life of Noah Dearborn – 1999

A developer hires a psychiatrist (Mary-Louise Parker) to declare a farmer (Sidney Poitier) mentally incompetent in order to gain his land.


Dianne Wiest By Alan Light


So there we go folks – my personal Top 10 of Dianne Wiest’s performances – now tell me – fan or not?

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6 thoughts on “Theme Times – Dianne Wiest

  1. I’m a HUGE fan! I really enjoy watching her. A movie you didn’t list that has her, Robert Downey Jr, Rosaria Dawson, Shia Leboeuf and Tatum Channing…couple other big names…
    “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints”. Excellent movie. It’s pretty intense, not lighthearted at all, but really good!

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