Pieces of a Woman [Grade: B]

Director: Kornél Mundruczó

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Vanessa Kirby

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Admittedly, the only reason I was drawn to this film was because of Vanessa Kirby. I LOVED her as Margret on The Crown, and I believe she is someone to lookout for in the next year or so. She has a presence that is really interesting—it reminds me of when I first started noticing Michelle Williams. 

Then to have Shia LaBeouf ALSO in the mix was just the perfect casting-pollen for us movie buff-bees, in my opinion. 

The film definitely gives moments for subtle dramatics, but it felt a little obvious that some of the dramatics were added to give the plot, that at its bones could arguably be seen as “boring,” some type of interesting movement; and those subtle additions really tiptoed on making or breaking the film. 

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Below are my grades for key components in #PiecesOfAWoman that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Binge, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale. 

* * *

Theme: A

Plot: C

Pacing: A-

Character Arc/Development: B

Entertainment Factor: Interesting Enough (if looking for something decent and different)

* * *

My Takeaways—(BOLD = Thumbs Up/Pluses, & Relaxed = Thumbs Down/Missteps):

1. Personally, seeing Shia open the film made me smile. He really is such an onscreen gem! 

2. Also! Male frontal nudity! Yes, Shia! 

3. I appreciated the labor scene from beginning to end. Now I am not an expert on what actual labor looks like, and I think there have been think pieces written about many women possibly not being happy about the depiction (I haven’t read any of those pieces at the time of writing this review); but from a viewer standpoint, to see a labor scene that wasn’t the typical sweating and screaming felt (**and I want to state before I continue that yes I recognize that, as a man, I don’t/never will know what “labor” feels like; and that I also have yet to experience seeing actual labor, so this is based on understanding that all women are different)…genuine. Authentic. I found the moment to be one of 2 really well shot, and powerful moments of the film.

4. However, to piggyback off #3, there was a level of pain that I wanted see come through from Vanessa, at least in the form of tears. 

5. I found the progression of how this grief driven depression unfolded was decently paced. And even though there was a moment where I literally thought to myself, “this would’ve been an amazing short film,” there was another scene to add to this couple’s distress that couldn’t be done in less time.   

6. “Sean’s” final push to take his “trip…” where he leaves his hat on the dashboard… #TooSudden, and is an example of 1 of the subtle dramatics that really made no sense. 

7. “Touch me!” Like WOW! I was in so many feelings for this couple, both individually and as a unit, during that scene. This was the second most well shot, and powerful moments in the film. I mean, even Vanessa’s look/expression towards the camera from the door… just wow. #SmallYetStrong! #SaidSoMuch! 

8. To piggyback off #6, I wish there was more background story around Sean and Elizabeth’s relationship. Simply repeating that “1 line” about her sentiments isn’t enough to support that decision. 

9. The Apple… beautiful way to develop a core [no pun intended] theme around “life.”

10. The Apple…eh, the infatuation felt sudden. However, I wonder is this part of some form of psychological grief that can take place?  

11. Although Vanessa’s character was developed pretty well, there wasn’t enough of her to know from the beginning to truly grasp that development fully. 

12. Chile, then they added dramatics with Elizabeth. 

13. The BALL and CIGARETTE! Phew! Wooooow! Now that I think about it, was this reason for #6? Did the word get out? I mean, it still wouldn’t explain everything, but it would explain enough… 

* * *

Overall, I think this movie definitely adds something different to the film conversations. Shia definitely had some moments that overshadowed Vanessa a little bit. However, I think them together was the spark to this story… #IfYouKnowYouKnow… 

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