Pieces of a Woman
Director
Kornél Mundruczó
Writer
Kata Wéber
Actors
Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker, Steven McCarthy, Tyrone Benskin, Frank Schorpion, Harry Standjofski, Domenic Di Rosa, Jimmie Fails, Juliette Casagrande, Gayle Garfinkle, Vanessa Smythe, Nick Walker, Sean Tucker, Alain Dahan, Joelle Jérémie, Leisa Reid
Runtime
2 h 07 min
Release Date
30 December 2020
Genres
Drama
Overview
When a young mother's home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
  • Rating

PIECES OF A WOMAN

Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance are the Stages of Grief developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and published in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.  Through the 80s, one would hear references about these grief stages in popular literature; not so much lately.  Pieces of a Woman is a grief drama where at least some of the Stages of Grief are visible in each of the three main characters, one character displays all the stages.

During the first thirty minutes – before the opening credits run – Martha (Vanessa Kirby, Mission Impossible 7 & 8) and her partner Sean (Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy, The Peanut Butter Falcon) go thru a failed home birth of their daughter.  The film’s remaining 100 minutes is about the couple’s resulting grief, her mother Elizabeth’s grief (Ellen Burstyn, Welcome to Pine Grove!), and a lawsuit brought against the midwife, all happening in just a few months.

Pieces of a Woman grief drama

Sean (Shia LeBeouf) and Martha (Vanessa Kirby) at start of film

The main reason to watch this movie is to view some terrific acting.  Ellen Burstyn has one emotional scene that shows off her long experience as an actor.  Before that one scene, she is just sad and mean; I enjoyed her performance.  However, the main focus is on Venessa Kirby with her stunning portrayal of a woman going thru all the stages of grief, she’s always sad and confused.

Pieces of a Woman grief drama

Midwife (Molly Parker) with pregnant Martha

Honestly, I mixed up my movies. I thought I was watching a Promising Young Woman – a film about revenge – instead of Pieces of a Woman, all about grief.  But once the bubbly and attentive Shia LaBeouf and the excited Venessa Kirby started having labor pains and the thirty-minute birthing scene began, I could not take my eyes off the flat screen.

In addition to the grief and the spirally out of control relationship of the couple.  There is also an angry Mother bringing a lawsuit against the midwife at the birth.  Pieces of a Woman as a grief drama appears to be plausible in the grief presentation. But the introduction and start of a trial only months after the failed birth seems like a big stretch; a trial would have taken years.  The trial scene – added only to introduce the midwife’s grief into the film – is the only problem area.  The trial distracted from the primary purpose of getting the family through death.

Pieces of a Woman is an accurate grief drama with great acting. It is an excellent presentation of sadness and grief. However, the trial is unrealistic and not necessary.  You in the mood for grief, sadness, and legal revenge, watch Pieces of a Woman.

Pieces of a Woman grief drama

Mother Elizabeth (Ellen Burstyn) with Comedian Iliza Shlesinger (on Netflix) as Anita

Movie Details

Director
Kornél Mundruczó
Writer
Kata Wéber
Actors
Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker, Steven McCarthy, Tyrone Benskin, Frank Schorpion, Harry Standjofski, Domenic Di Rosa, Jimmie Fails, Juliette Casagrande, Gayle Garfinkle, Vanessa Smythe, Nick Walker, Sean Tucker, Alain Dahan, Joelle Jérémie, Leisa Reid
Runtime
2 h 07 min
Release Date
30 December 2020
Genres
Drama
Overview
When a young mother's home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.

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