Pieces of a Woman; Grade: B
Pieces of a Woman tells a story about couple named Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf), whom are having a baby as Martha preferred to have her baby delivered in her own home. As the delivering process commences, the original person planned to deliver the couples baby is occupied with another couple, as the couple has to rely on a replacement fill in named Eva (Molly Parker). Unfortunately for the couple the delivery process ends in tragedy, as the couple lost the baby. Martha goes on with a year long mourning process of her lost, as troubles encounter with her own relationship and her up and coming court case against Eva.
The Cinematography t’was great, the film relies on continuing shots as cuts rarely happen making this a refreshing visual experience. The Score when presented t’was simple yet elegant and classical, sets the tone towards the saddening sequences of the film. The cast all in all t’was solid as a whole. Vanessa Kirby playing Martha played a great performance, emotionally riveting indeed. The character as written was more leaned on showing and not telling, there’s not a whole lot of depth regarding much dialogue on how the character is feeling inside, it’s more towards her body language as how she responds to everyday life moving forward and situations she’s currently dealing with. I felt depth could’ve been used regarding the court case against Eva, I think her being unresponsive when her romantic partner and family discuss the case, meant she didn’t care about the case at all, however she still partakes in the court case and wanted to testify against her at first. Just needed some details of where her mind was at towards the case, other than that I liked how this film presented this character in this story. Sean played by Shia LaBeouf played a solid performance, however I would’ve liked a different style of performance from LaBeouf next time around as the southern accent is getting old. I also liked Ellen Burstyn playing Martha’s mother, thought she played a solid performance and I wouldn’t be surprised if she receives noise during award season.
I do have a couple more flaws. The pacing was a bit slow. I also didn’t get why Martha’s family wanted Sean out of Martha’s life?! Sean was a supportive loving husband, who just wanted to see his significant other happy and to overcome the troubles she’s encountering in her life going through the mourning process. It’s not like Sean wasn’t putting in any effort to help Martha, he was fully supporting her and her needs, especially while he was hurting immensely as well. I understand Sean was at fault behind the scenes which I won’t spoil, however the family didn’t know anything about that situation so I don’t understand why they were against him being with Martha.
Pieces of a Woman was a solid watch from start to finish. The story itself was simply written, however delivered on emotionally striking moments that’ll certainly pull some strings inside your heart. It’s honestly quite a down, sorrow, and depressing watch as you not only see these individuals lives go downhill moving forward regarding themselves, but also see the relationship as well falling apart. The pregnancy process is a long struggling process itself but it’s also suppose to be rewarding at the end when life is created within that small child, while also proceeding towards the plans you have made going forward with raising that child. When the pregnancy process is not rewarded at the end, as you’re left with tragedy... It truly kills you mentally and physically by both parties, where it’s really hard to see yourself ever truly recover from this. All you feel while watching this film, is like our main characters presented in this film: Complete Emptiness. It’s hard to create any light from the darkness they’re currently in.
I’m surprised that the third act managed to receive some light towards Martha’s journey of mourning towards her lost. It honestly felt like a very long slow walk to achieve Martha’s character arc, but once we got there in the final moments... It was a very satisfying end, as Martha simply learn that just because she lost something of value to her own life, doesn’t mean she should take someone’s life in the process, as that’s not what the child would’ve wanted.
Overall, Pieces of a Woman was a good film. I recommend this film, be warned this is a depressing watch so if you’re not in the mood to feel sad... Save it for another day. -Mitch Smietana