★★★ | by Michael
Posted on Jan 22, 2021
A heartbreaking home birth leaves a woman grappling with the profound emotional fallout, isolated from her partner and family by a chasm of grief.
An incredible first act is ultimately the highlight in a two-hour run time with Pieces of a Woman. Muddled character development is the key problem for the husband and wife duo, Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber.
We are given a beautifully choreographed scene at the beginning with the child-birth, but the second and third act is a drawn out mess of character development and plot. The characters changed too quickly, and after reading that Wéber had actually based some of this on real life experiences, you start to add the pieces together on why this film was so torn. Lived experiences are mostly going to trump any other form of writing, and that’s what we were given here.
Vanessa Kirby however absolutely gave it her all and showed the most consistency throughout the film. I didn’t feel for the other characters, but maybe that’s because Kirby is the focus of pain for the audience? It’s supporting characters are written to overemphasize the pain, but I found the writing to not be strong enough. A monologue by Elizabeth was so forced and randomly placed in a dinner scene is one key example.
Overall, we see a film with huge potential, especially with the technical talent on display. A re-write of the second and third act could have this film circling the Academy, but it’s destined to sit on the shelf, gathering dust in Netflix’s ever-growing library.