Title: Pieces of a Woman
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Kornél Mundruczó
Starring: Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn
Runtime: 2 hrs 6 mins
What It Is: Martha (Kirby) and Sean (LaBeouf) are an expecting couple with their first child. They are as all new parents would be excited and nervous. When the time arrives Martha wants an at-home delivery but her normal midwife is not available. Eva (Molly Parker), another midwife steps in to deliver their child but when tragedy strikes we’re left with a midwife on charges and a mother broken by the loss of her child.
What We Think: This script deserves a more crisp direction. It certainly got the core performance it deserved. Vanessa Kirby is mesmerizing. Simply put she is such an anchor to everything going. A vessel for material worthy of the material. I’d say the only thing stopping this film from the upper echelon of 2020 films is the editing. This film is far far too long. There’s a going ten minutes that could be shaved off. Both lead actress and Ellen Burstyn’s immaculate supporting turn are worthy of praise. So much so I would not be surprised if ANOTHER Oscar nomination is in the future for her. Eeryone is saying they’re boycotting because Shia LaBeouf is a garbage human that abuses women. He’s also flat out terrible here. That alone is reason enough to hate the guy in this. In one scene he’s…I guess you could call it screaming out but the emotion just isn’t in his delivery. He is a detriment to the film even if he weren’t a trash can of a person.
Our Grade: B+, A flawed film. One who’s worse parts would be the better of some other much more aligned piece. Netflix has a history now of putting their best feet forward around this time of year. This is a fine film and one that emotionally goes down a very dark exploration of its themes of grief. How that grief can manifests itself…how it can fester like an open wound affecting all the people around the epicenter human to which the story revolves. Check this one out. It’s on Netflix so go do it.