THIS REVIEW is brought to you by KATHY KAISER @matineechat.com
This film is for Mature audiences ONLY
DIRECTED BY: Kornel Mundruczo
WRITTEN BY: Kata Weber
STARRING: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook and Molly Parker
Brought to both Theaters and the small screen by Netflix Studios, Pieces of a Woman is one of a few films this year that should be garnering accolades come awards season, especially for Lead Actress Vanessa Kirby, as her extraordinary performance in this film will literally take your breath away. Getting rave reviews and accolades already at its showing at the Toronto Film Festival this year, this painfully raw and extremely emotional performance is her most incredible work to date, as she plays Martha, the Corporate Exec who finds herself, along with her construction worker hubby Sean (Shia LeBeouf) ready to take on parenting, any second now…
But when the home birth Martha has always wanted ends in tragedy, she finds herself unable to deal with this unimaginable loss and grief, alas becoming cold and distant to everyone around her. And as she tries desperately to find some assemblance of normalcy in her darkest days, her relationships that she cherishes the most ~ those with her husband, and her mother (Ellen Burstyn) ~ start to implode around her. And as we now find ourselves going through the next year of Martha’s life, experiencing the pain that has all but consumed her, and the trial taking place to make the midwife (Molly Parker) pay for this travesty, we find that Martha really has no other choice than to set the pain of this great loss free, if she is ever going to have any hope of moving past it, and regaining her life…
Now, if the subject matter itself in Pieces of A Woman isn’t enough to stop you in your tracks, the first 30 minutes of this film most certainly will, as it’s hard to recover from Director Kornel Mundruczo’s poignant roller coaster that he takes you on, as you experience so much joy, and so much pain, in the blink of an eye. Mundruczo manages to not only bring to life Kata Weber’s incredibly moving screenplay, but he also manages to bring out incredible performances not only from Kirby, but from Burstyn, and LaBeouf as well, even though it seems that Netflix isn’t pushing his performance as much this awards season as everyone else, please take my word for it that he once again will manage to blow you away too, just like he did in last year’s film about his own life, Honey Boy. Plus, once you add all these fabulous performances to Benjamin Loeb’s exceptional cinematography throughout every inch of this film, and the fact that it was Executive Produced by none other than Academy Award Winning Director Martin Scorsese, you will find that Pieces of a Woman doesn’t hide you from the realism of life, and the pain of loss, but instead takes you deep into these struggles head on, giving you absolutely no way of turning back, thus making it one of the most emotionally charged and perfectly crafted films, I’ve seen in a very long time.