9/10 Vanessa Kirby has mostly played a wide variety of supporting roles in her career from “The Crown” to “Hobbs & Shaw” but “Pieces of a Woman” gives her the juicy leading role that she deserves and she knocks this showcase right out of the park. Shia LaBeouf is a phenomenal actor and does a great job here as well but this is Kirby’s film from start to finish. Near the beginning of the film we get a 24 minute continuously shot scene of a home birth that was one of the most intense, gut wrenching, unsettling moments I have witnessed in a theater in my life. The wide variety of emotions on display from excitement to nervousness to bliss to horror are expertly portrayed through the phenomenal performances and jaw dropping cinematography and blocking of the scene. The script is one of 2020’s strongest as our leading couple feel 100% real and genuine. This is an emotionally draining experience and a gloomy film that you should be in the mood to watch as opposed to going in blind or expecting anything uplifting. The pacing for a film just over two hours is great as you are glued to everything unfolding before you. The always reliable Howard Shore composes one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful film scores of the year and Netflix was wise to acquire this film and add it to their library. Writer Kata Wéber paired with director Kornél Mundruczó have crafted a powerful, emotional heartbreaking film with such presence that I want to go seek out their other work. As for the minor negative aspects, one brief moment near the end felt a little bit hokey and while using an apple for symbolism and deeper meaning in the film was fine, it almost felt overused/overdone and slightly heavy handed by the time the ending credits began to roll. The minor problems won’t bother the average film goer seeing as how this is an incredible film. If you are a pregnant woman, I recommend that you don’t watch this film until long after you’ve given birth and you have to mentally prepare yourself to watch this since it is largely a downer of a film, as some of the most powerful are (“Requiem for a Dream”, another Ellen Burstyn film comes to mind). Speaking of Burstyn, her supporting work here is fantastic and reminds us all what a legend she is. If you can handle the gloomy subject matter and are looking for an expertly crafted, brilliantly shot, Oscar worthy acted, wonderfully scored film, make “Pieces of a Woman” a piece of your day and watch this as soon as you can.

#TheCrowning / #ShiaLaInTheBuff / #ScenesFromAMiscarriage / #SponsoredByAppleTV+Films / #BurstynWithEmotions / #ToTheEndsOfTheBirthAndBack

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