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Pieces of April (2003), Peter Hedges, A-

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, January 30th, 2005

A minor masterpiece with fine writing and great performances. Most impressive is how it doesn’t talk down to the audience, we are left to fill in the blanks on our own, grow to know the characters on our own. Also: funny! (and sad.)


  1. Funny. We have it on this list:
    Worst Movies of 2003

    Comment by Jurgen — January 30, 2005 @ 12:25 pm

  2. I find it endlessly fascinating that I can never, NEVER predict what you will like or dislike. Just yesterday you mentioned an upcoming French film that I probably wouldn’t like because it was all about a woman and it is all talking. THIS movie is all about a woman and it is all talking.

    And — it is great! What didn’t you like about it? It was touching and (with the exception of 1.5 scenes) very realistic. I can’t imagine disliking this, let alone putting it on a top 10 worst film list.

    Not that it is the end all and be all, but it has 83% approval on Rotten Ts.

    Comment by Jordan — January 30, 2005 @ 5:35 pm

  3. You didn’t put the link:

    Comment by Jurgen — January 30, 2005 @ 8:19 pm

  4. I didn’t NOT put the link. Comments are still wierd on here. Anyway, I stil liked the movie.

    Comment by JHoffman6 — January 30, 2005 @ 11:06 pm

  5. I saw this on Sundance the other night, too, for the first time. And while I wouldn’t put it in a worst list, I would put it in the “C” range. My main gripe was the mother. She just seemed like a very unlikable character, forget about her cancer. It takes a special kind of person for you to look past a debilitating disease and think, “This person really is an asshole that has nothing to do with her debilitating disease.”

    Key scene for me was the family in the car, and she starts making a serious speech to the effect that she has something very important to tell them about what to do after she dies … and she turns it into a “joke” about not letting April know they’ll be throwing her food into the garbage because of the trepidations they have about her cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

    That’s funny? Fuckin A — maybe to a bunch of manic depressives on crank, but I just thought it was crude. Then again, there’s something about that actress (can’t recall her name) that always grates on me, so maybe that’s part of my disdain.

    I liked the set-up of the movie — sort of an update on the Demme 80s NY movie vibe — I even like most of the characters, but it just felt a bit off. And Hedges is a damn good writer — Gilbert Grape was a great book and a pretty good movie. But I think he should get back to just writing and leave the directing to other folk. Wouldn’t be surprised if the fate of this movie forces that hand naturally.

    Comment by Bill R. — January 31, 2005 @ 7:06 am

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