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Arts and Culture

'Pieces Of A Woman' Review With Casey

Oftentimes, a drama film tugs at your heartstrings...and sometimes a film can lacerate them. When a young couple's home birth ends in tragedy, the expecting mother tries to keep living under a constant cloud of grief. 

Hungarian screenwriter Kata Weber (Jupiter's Moon, 2017) gives a patient and direct story of how loss reshapes someone's life over time through lies, crumbling relationships, and painful arguments. The beginning of the film includes a continuous, 30-minute birth scene with a miraculously sustained anxiety (proving Hungarian director, Kornel Mundruczo, is not one to tiptoe around taboo subjects). 

 

Pieces of a Woman features some of the best and most fearless on-screen acting I've seen in the past 12 months. Vanessa Kirby (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, 2019) is well on her way to her first Oscar nomination. With eyes so hypnotizing and blinkless, she hints at the emptiness of a heart depleted of hope. Both defiant and desperate. Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream, 2000) also gives a mesmerizing performance as an aging mother with an emotionally fraught monologue guaranteed to haunt every viewer long after this film ends. 

 

I know I'm describing this film as a major downer, which is not exactly the best kind of film to watch in our current cultural climate. I get that. But Pieces of a Woman does offer the small possibility of a happier future, much like life itself. And it's this quality of unashamed realism and honesty that makes this film so deeply personal and deeply genuine. I will be very surprised if the two main actresses in this film do not get nominated for major awards this season.