"Promising Young Woman" stars Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, and Connie Britton. Released on December 25, 2020, the film is about a woman who attempts to avenge her best friend.
The film featured the directorial debut of Emerald Fennell, who is known for her involvement with the television series "Killing Eve". There are some women in this world that you don't want to mess with, especially when you're not playing nice with them. A while ago, we were treated with a list of official nominations for this year's Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Awards, which means it's time for me to get caught up on the films that made it to those lists. Let's start with the one that came out at the most beautiful time of the year because when I think of the holidays, I think of a woman punishing selfish men. Initially set for a spring 2020 release, this film was delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic until it settled for a Christmas release. I guess nothing spreads holiday cheer more than a movie about girl power. I was initially planning on seeing this film in the theater after they reopen again. However, because of the new work hours I had to deal with, I had to settle on waiting until it's available to watch at home. For those waiting for me to review this dark comedy thriller, I hope the wait was worth it. So far, almost everyone seemed to have enjoyed Emerald Fennell's directorial debut. Plus, it earned four Golden Globe nominations and six Critics' Choice nominations as of this writing. Now that I finally got the chance to see it, was it able to impress me as well? Let's find out.
The story follows Cassie Thomas (Mulligan), a 30-year-old woman who lives with her parents in Ohio and takes advantage of men at clubs. She dropped out of medical school years ago when her best friend Nina Fisher got raped by their classmate Al Monroe (Chris Lowell), and the school and legal systems didn't hold him responsible. As a result, Nina committed suicide sometime later. When she hears that Al is hosting a bachelor party to celebrate his upcoming wedding, Cassie decides to exact revenge on the people who treated her and Nina wrong. There's a lot to unpack from this film, if I got to be honest with you. On paper, it does resemble a female-empowering revenge thriller that's more dialogue-driven than action-packed. However, if you read between the lines of that said paper, you can see that it's a revenge thriller representing something out of a #MeToo movement. From my perspective, it's a film that attempted to tell its viewers that equal justice should not go unnoticed and entertain them with its thrills at the same time. This type of mixture wasn't 100 percent perfect in my eyes. However, it offered a bold and exhilarating example of making a dialogue-driven thriller as exciting and provocative as a violence-driven one. It showcased some narrative choices (especially the ending) that could run the risk of alienating its audience. Yes, that includes people who were expecting it to be another regular thriller. However, those choices paid off exceptionally well as Fennell's script managed to work around its thriller tropes and offer a fresh and twisty portrayal of girl power through stellar dialogue. Carey Mulligan proved that she's a force to be reckoned with as she provided some tough competition towards the other best actress nominees. Her performance as Cassie was so delightfully terrifying it made me want to think twice before I go anywhere near her. She's the best part of the film, in my opinion. Bo Burnham also turned in a satisfying performance as Ryan Cooper, Cassie's former classmate. I also enjoyed the irresistible chemistry between Mulligan and Burnham during the film's second act, and that's coming from the guy who isn't into romance films that much. I felt terrible about how it turned out in the end, but at the same time, I'm also impressed that the film took that risk. In addition to her worthy screenplay, Fennell has proven herself to be a respectable director as well. Her direction provided an ideal mixture of grim themes and comedic moments along with a vibrant and alluring cinematic appeal. Not to mention the fact that Anthony Willis' musical score was a treat to listen to, and yes, the film's instrumental version of Britney Spears's "Toxic" was good as well.
Overall, while it didn't delve deeper into its troubling subject matter, "Promising Young Woman" is a compelling and stimulating debut from writer/director Emerald Fennell. Lead by an impressive performance by Mulligan, Fennell's superb direction, and a well-written screenplay, the film not only works as a gleefully entertaining thriller, but it also works as a reminder that the actions from the past should not go unpunished. I know that this review seemed short to you guys, but come on. How am I supposed to talk more about it without spoiling the whole story? The film is something that you're better off watching blind to get the full shocking experience, if you're into revenge thrillers, of course. This is an unsurprisingly excellent start to my "award binge-watch marathon" thing. Here's hoping the other ones that I'll be checking out soon are just as fantastic as this.
"Earwig and the Witch" stars Shinobu Terajima, Etsushi Toyokawa, Gaku Hamada, Kokoro Hirasawa, and Sherina Munaf. Released on December 30, 2020, the film is about an orphan taken in by a group of witches.
The film was directed by Gorō Miyazaki, who also directed "Tales from Earthsea" and "From Up on Poppy Hill". It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones. Studio Ghibli is widely known for its vibrant and breathtaking 2D animated masterpieces. Ranging from "Castle in the Sky" to "When Marnie Was There", the studio has created tons of gems that rival Disney and even Pixar in the animation department for more than 35 years. All it took for them was a healthy dose of imagination and a bunch of paper and pencils. In 2020, however, the studio decided to go in a much different direction for their latest project. It went for a distinct approach that could either ruin the studio's reputation or provide more competition for its opponents. That's right, Ghibli fans, they made a fully computer-animated feature. No paper, pencil, nor coloring tools required. While Hayao Miyazaki's 2018 short film "Boro the Caterpillar" was the first project from Studio Ghibli to be 100% CGI, this film is the first full-length feature from the studio to utilize this style of animation. It is also the latest film to be directed by Miyazaki's son Gorō who, according to my research, is the only person in the studio who understands the process of CG animation. This was due to his involvement with the television series "Ronja, the Robber's Daughter", which also used CGI effects. Gorō Miyazaki got off to a rocky start with his directorial debut, the 2006 adaptation of "Tales from Earthsea", but then he bounced back with his sophomore project "From Up on Poppy Hill" a few years later. So that should make his third feature film as a director the deciding point as to whether or not he's ready to continue his father's legacy. No pressure. It made its debut as a made-for-television film on Japan's NHK General TV back in late December, and so far, critics and audiences haven't been too kind with the final result. The negative response resulted in the movie being the lowest-rated Studio Ghibli film in its long history. Still, that didn't stop it from making its United States debut on HBO Max this weekend, courtesy of independent animation distributor GKIDS. With that in mind, let's see if this film is truly the hand that slaps the studio's legacy in the face. For this review, I will be looking at the English dub version, which featured the voices of Taylor Paige Henderson, Vanessa Marshall, Richard E. Grant, Dan Stevens, and Kacey Musgraves.
Set in late 20th Century England, the story follows Earwig (Hirasawa), an unruly 10-year-old girl who lives at the St. Morwald's Home for Children. She enjoys pulling pranks and has no desire to get adopted. One day, two mysterious witches show up and take her under their wing against her wishes. Those witches are Bella Yaga (Terajima) and Mandrake (Toyokawa). During her time with the witches, Earwig discovers plenty of secrets that may change her perspective towards them. It's no surprise that Studio Ghibli films have a sense of charm and imagination that invigorates their stories, and "Earwig and the Witch" appears to be one of them. Unfortunately, those primary qualities can only take this plot so far. While charming in some moments, the film failed to capitalize on its intriguing plot elements and world-building. Not only did it feel incomplete due to its abrupt ending, but it also lacked the inspiration and heart that made the other Ghibli films unique in the first place. It's far from a terrible story as it has a couple of things that I thought were amusing, such as Satoshi Takebe's score and the English cast. However, I can see that it was having trouble finding the right spell to make it more captivating. The English dub had some dialogue that was close to being cringe-worthy. However, it was overshadowed by some respectable vocal performances, ranging from Henderson as Earwig to Grant as Mandrake. As for the characters themselves, I would say that they're a step down from Ghibli's other memorable characters, especially the title character. The movie sets Earwig up as a character who discovers the secrets from her past and learns to be selfless towards others. The only problem with that was that this type of character development is close to being nonexistent. She didn't grow that much as a character throughout the entire movie at all. Compared to Ghibli's other strong female leads like Chihiro from "Spirited Away", Earwig is both unlikable and a tad bit irritating. Even the side characters, including Bella Yaga, weren't that memorable. The film spends most of its 80-minute runtime showcasing the characters being jerks to one another, resulting in some repetition. Also, the way they worked things out in its conclusion felt unrewarding. In other words, the film's characters are like the story itself. They're not as impressive as I hoped they would be. The animation has been the main topic of discussion for all the wrong reasons ever since Studio Ghibli revealed the film's first-look images. While I did see that it looked different compared to the studio's hand-drawn animation style, I was mature enough to hold off my judgment until I see its animation style in action. After some careful studying, I can finally conclude that the film's animation was meh. It's not great, and it's not horrific, either. It's understandably flawed. It attempted to use CGI to mimic the usual hand-drawn animation style that the studio is known for, leading to mixed results in my eyes. While the backgrounds looked visually appealing and the character designs were suitable, everything else didn't capture lightning in the cauldron in a way that the studio's 2D style did in their filmography. The visuals looked a bit bland at times, and the facial expressions on some of the characters were very jarring, most notably Earwig. That girl is not very lucky. It felt like I was watching a low-budget CGI film that Disney and Pixar didn't make, and not a good one.
Overall, "Earwig and the Witch" fails to be as spellbinding as Studio Ghibli's other animated treasures. Despite a fine cast and its musical score, this is a bland and unpleasant mess that lacks the primary qualities that made the studio the king of Japanese animation. With its weak characters, a tedious plot, and its imperfect animation style, this is a massive step down from Ghibli's other works and Gorō Miyazaki's previous directorial effort "From Up on Poppy Hill". If the studio decides to make another film with this type of animation, I'm hoping that it upgrade its style to make it look less creepy than what we got here. Otherwise, it's probably for the best that they return to their hand-drawn roots to avoid some more backlash from its fans. However, I will give the studio some credit for stepping out of their comfort zone and experiment with their style, even though the final result was far from spectacular. It's available to watch on HBO Max, so if you're looking for something new to watch with the kids, this one might suit you well. If you're a big fan of Studio Ghibli, there's a good chance that you might not like this one as much as its previous films.
“The Croods: A New Age” stars Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, and Kelly Marie Tran. Released on November 25, 2020, the film has the Croods encountering a new family.
The film featured the directorial debut of Joel Crawford, and it is a sequel to the 2013 film “The Croods”. After testing the waters with the simultaneous theater/PVOD release of “Trolls World Tour”, DreamWorks Animation (along with Universal Pictures) went back to the theatrical-only basis with another follow-up to one of their original properties. One that we didn’t expect to come out so soon, and yes, I know that this is long overdue. I had to make sure I have enough money and time to check it out for myself. Brief history lesson here: “The Croods” came out in March 2013 and became a critical and financial hit, resulting in it spawning a franchise that consists of an animated prequel series on Netflix and a sequel that has been in development for seven years. With COVID-19 still swarming around, the studio thought that now was a good time to release the film in theaters for the whole family to enjoy, because Disney wasn’t going to take that risk just yet. I wasn’t expecting “The Croods” to get a sequel, to be honest. I thought the film’s ending was good enough for it to be a “one and done” type of thing. Plus, I thought it was an endearing animated adventure. It’s not one of my favorite films from DreamWorks Animation, but it had enough moments for me to give it a “seal of approval”. However, it did make sense for the studio to release the sequel because Cage is becoming quite successful with his recent animated roles throughout the last couple of years, and Ryan Reynolds has gotten back into the spotlight thanks to his involvement with the “Deadpool” franchise. But is it a necessary follow-up? That’s the big question. Let’s travel back to the stone age and find out.
Taking place after the events of the first film, the story once again follows the caveman family known as The Croods, which consists of father Grug (Cage), daughter Eep (Stone), mother Ugga (Keener), son Thunk (Duke), Gran (Leachman), and their younger daughter Sandy (Kailey Crawford). The Croods, along with Eep’s boyfriend Guy (Reynolds), are still searching for a place they can call home in this vibrant, yet dangerous, world. They later come across a new family known as the Bettermans, who appeared to be more evolved than the Croods and have a personal history with Guy. I guess that explains why they’re called the “Bettermans”…because they think they’re better than everyone else. This newly-evolved family consists of Phil Betterman (Dinklage), Hope Betterman (Mann), and their daughter Dawn Betterman (Tran), who Eep befriends. Of course, they didn’t grow fond of one another right away because of their differences as well as the Bettermans’ attempt to get Guy to stay with them. When their feud resulted in them landing in hot water, the Croods and the Bettermans will have to work together to save themselves from extinction. The first “Croods” film was a fun and heartwarming adventure that teaches its viewers about the importance of not allowing fear to dictate how we should live our lives. In “A New Age”, it teaches kids the importance of appreciating people’s differences, which in my eyes, couldn’t have come at a better time. People have been wasting their energy treating others like garbage because of how different they are, whether it’s based on their skin color or their culture or even their beliefs, and to me, it brings me nothing but disgust. The film displayed the fact that we can all learn to live together, no matter how discrete we are from one another, and I applaud DreamWorks Animation for representing this message in a world full of prehistoric cave people and wild distinct creatures. However, that doesn’t mean that it fits perfectly with the film’s storytelling as well. While it does have its share of charm and vibrancy in its environments and the characters, the story didn’t evolve well enough to keep up with its splendor as it used the formula that worked in its predecessor as an excuse for storytelling and nothing else. If you’ve seen “The Croods” a bunch of times, you might have noticed some similar elements from the original that were presented here in the sequel, such as the stone-age versions of modern-day traditions and the “overprotective parent” scenario. Even though those elements worked fairly well here in terms of the humor, they often came off as formulaic, derivative, and sometimes obnoxious. It also didn’t help that the plot was obviously straightforward to a fault with a few rushed moments that almost took me out of its gorgeous sceneries. It’s not that I hate the story at all. It’s bearable and goofy enough for me and the parents to sit through. It’s the fact that it’s so used to its predecessor’s formula that it lost track of the narrative balance that made the first film a hit in my opinion. In other words, I thought the story in the first film was a bit better. There were a couple of things that kept this sequel from going extinct, and those were the voice cast and the animation. The main cast reprised their respective roles from the first film, ranging from Cage to Reynolds, and they delivered some of their funniest and charming vocal performances in their careers. Thanks to his commitment towards the role of Grug, Nicolas Cage once again shows further proof that he’s still the ruler of all things crazy and should still share the lunacy throne with another lovable goofball Jim Carrey. The film also introduced some new faces in the form of the Bettermans, who are voiced by Dinklage, Mann and Kelly Marie Tran from the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy. I thought Dinklage and Mann did pretty well in their roles as Phil and Hope respectively, but the real show-stopper, in my honest opinion, was Tran, who brought plenty of energy and charisma into her character Dawn. She’s probably one of the best parts of the film because of her personality and her humorous moments. As for the Bettermans themselves, they’re fine enough to be supporting characters. Not great, but fine nonetheless. Another element that stood out for me was the animation, which looked unsurprisingly stunning. From its colorful settings to its unique creature designs, the animation once again showcases the studio’s strengths in providing a sense of imagination in its vigorous style. It also worked well for some of its slapstick shenanigans, including the “Punch-Monkeys”. They’re monkeys that use punching as a form of communication, in case you’re wondering. They can be a bit too cartoony for some people, but hey, if that’s your thing, then you should be fine watching the cartoonish fireworks fly.
Overall, despite its delightful sense of silliness and a lively voice cast, “The Croods: A New Age” isn’t able to keep up with the evolution. There were some moments that may impress families and plenty of fans of the first film such as the characters, the humor, and the animation, but they’re not enough to help the film survive against the dangers of prehistoric life due to its derivative plot elements and its middling storytelling. This is one of the animated follow-ups that are just there to entertain the kids and nothing else, but have enough good stuff to justify their own existence. While far from a cash grab, this is definitely a step down from its predecessor in my opinion. If you enjoyed “The Croods”, then I think you might enjoy this one as well. It all depends on your expectations.
“One Night in Miami” stars Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, and Leslie Odom Jr. Released on December 25, 2020, the film has a group of people hanging out at a Miami hotel room.
The film featured the directorial debut of Regina King, and it is based on the 2013 stage play of the same name by Kemp Powers. What do you get when you put four of the most popular icons in African-American history all in one room? You get a miraculous play debut from writer Kemp Powers, which has now become a movie. Following her continuous success as an actress in film and television, award-favorite Regina King is taking the next step of her superb career: directing her very first feature film. Not just any feature film, however, but a feature film that’s based on a well-received play about a group of well-known African-American legends. If there’s one thing I appreciate from a film, it’s the diversity, both on screen and off. This is another possible awards contender that already premiered last year in a small amount of theaters and has made its way towards a wide release both in theaters and on a streaming service. So far, as of this writing, the reviews for the film have been extremely positive, with the critics praising the story and King’s direction, which should help increase its chance to make an appearance in some of the major awards shows this year. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait too long to see it for myself. My closest cinema is able to show this film today, which gave me an opportunity to check it out before it heads to Amazon Prime Video next weekend. Did I make the right choice? Let’s find out.
The story follows the fictionalized meeting of four African-American icons: human rights activist Malcolm X (Ben-Adir), boxer Muhammad Ali (Goree), football player Jim Brown (Hodge), and singer/songwriter Sam Cooke (Odom Jr.). They meet up in a Miami hotel room to celebrate Ali’s victory over Sonny Liston (Aaron D. Alexander) as well as reflect on their own experiences towards racial problems, and that’s pretty much it. It’s just four guys hanging out in a hotel room for a single night. You might be thinking that this is another play-turned-film in which the entire story takes place in a single location, similar to what “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” did when it comes to the narrative structure. That’s honestly not the case for this one. From what I read about the source material it’s based on, “One Night in Miami” is described as a one-act play in which four characters share the moments of their careers through dialogue in only one location: a small hotel room. The film not only offered that type of structure, but it also expanded upon it in order to further explore these characters before their meeting. This is something that I thought was handled remarkably well because it gives its viewers a clear idea on who these characters are and what they do for a living as well as show them their personal selves. Question is, was it enough to make this night worth remembering? The answer to that is a resounding yes. This is an invigorating and thoughtful depiction of the people behind their legendary personas and the pivotal moment that affected their careers in the African-American community. The only gripes I had with the film, however, were the pacing and the second act. Because of it being a dialogue-driven drama, the film had the tendency to drag a little bit in some moments. I wouldn’t say that it’s boring or anything, but I would say that they could’ve find a way to make those moments a bit shorter. As for the second act, it did feel like I was watching a filmed version of a stage play rather than an actual film at times. Other than that, everything else happened to be top-notch from start to finish. This is another film that showcases its main cast as its greatest strength in terms of their performances and the chemistry between them. Ben-Adir, Goree, Hodge, and Odom Jr. were all given the chance to shine as their respective characters, and unsurprisingly, they didn’t disappoint. Not only were their performances raw and riveting, but their chemistry was fun and believable enough to convince me that they’re imperfect friends with real-life problems. I thought Kingsley Ben-Adir did a marvelous job portraying Malcolm X and matching that character’s mannerisms flawlessly. Eli Goree was highly entertaining as Muhammad Ali, and Leslie Odom Jr., who plays Sam Cooke, continued to represent his wonderful talent as both an actor and a singer. Regina King was given the task to bring Kemp Powers’s play to the screen, which could be a bit challenging given the fact that this was her first film as a director. After watching it for myself, all I can say is that she accomplished that task with ease. Not only did she follow the qualities that made Powers’s play special, but she also delivered on making the dialogue-driven scenes feel realistic, especially during the second act. Speaking of dialogue, the conversations between the main characters were well-written, informative, and pretty engaging, and it’s all thanks to Kemp Powers himself, who has a knack of creating captivating stories set in the African-American community. I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone else writing it besides him. It’s actually quite nice to see someone behind the source material it’s based on write the screenplay for the adaptation because it allowed them to share their own creativity on a different type of media, whether Hollywood agrees with some of their ideas or not. I haven’t seen Powers’s play myself, so I couldn’t compare the two versions, but I do feel that screenplay-wise, Powers is definitely someone I’ll be keeping an eye on in the near future.
Overall, with Regina King behind the camera and its talented cast, “One Night in Miami” is definitely the night that’s worth reminiscing for a long time. Aside from a couple of pacing issues, the film is a thought-provoking and stellar portrayal of the legends we know and the meeting that changed their lives. Thanks to the engrossing performances from the cast, King’s direction, and Powers’s superb screenplay, this is another well-made drama that respectively represents diversity in front of and behind the camera. I would also say that this is another film that offers a lot of stuff for me to take in due to it being a dialogue-driven narrative. There were some stuff that I get, and some stuff that I didn’t understand during my first viewing. I’ll probably revisit the film when it comes out on Prime Video so that I can get a clear picture on the latter, but until then, consider me impressed with how it turned out during my first experience.
“Pieces of a Woman” stars Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Molly Parker, Sarah Snook, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Jimmie Fails, and Ellen Burstyn. Released on December 30, 2020, the film is about a woman who goes on an emotional journey after losing her baby.
The film is directed by Kornél Mundruczó, who also directed films such as “Johanna”, “Delta”, “White God”, and “Jupiter’s Moon”. 2020 may be over, but there are still plenty more films from that year left for me to check out, especially the ones that may wind up being major award contenders. The first possible contender I’ll be looking at today comes from Netflix and Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó who, according to his filmography, hasn’t helmed a film that’s in 100% English until now. What a way for him to step into different territory. I only knew this was coming out when I was doing research on the upcoming films I’m planning on reviewing. I saw the poster for it, noticed that it had Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf, and boom! I was immediately hooked. The film already made its debut in a small amount of theaters last month, and even though it didn’t become a huge critical darling, it did receive a suitable amount of good reviews, most notably due to its cast and its representation of the subject matter. Now, it has made its way to the streaming service for the rest of the public to enjoy…or cry their eyeballs out, whichever works. With that said, let’s see if this tearjerking drama is worth getting some recognition.
The story follows a Boston couple, Martha Weiss (Kirby) and Sean Carson (LaBeouf), whose lives have been changed horrifically. This is due to them losing their baby during a home birth performed by their midwife Eva Woodward (Parker), resulting in the midwife being charged with criminal negligence and being shunned by the public. Martha must now deal with her fractured relationships and learn to cope with her loss in order to face Eva in court. In case it wasn't obvious enough, this is another film that involves the process of grief, especially from the tragic loss of a loved one or a family member. In this case, it’s the sudden death of a newborn baby. Oh yeah, we’re definitely heading down that rabbit hole. This type of topic can be tricky to represent in film, not just because of how uncomfortable it is, but because of the sentimentality of its presentation. If handled incorrectly, it could wind up being an excessive melodrama that resembles a Lifetime movie. Fortunately, for me, that’s not the case here. This is a subtle and realistic depiction of a woman’s journey through grief and loss and how it affects her mentally as well as the people close to her. It’s far from a perfect depiction due to its pacing and the middle section not being on par with the riveting opening sequence and its well-executed ending despite how engaging it was. Nonetheless, it is still a well-made and thoughtful drama that has Kornél Mundruczó consistently blending its depressing and poignant nature with a sense of beauty in Benjamin Loeb’s cinematography. It can definitely be a slow burn for those who wanted to see some sort of excitement in the dramatic scenes. Not even its two-hour-plus runtime can make the situation better, but if you happen to stick around after the opening scene, you might be rewarded with stellar performances from the main cast and a satisfying screenplay by Kata Wéber. The main highlights of the cast would have to be Vanessa Kirby, who takes center stage in a realistic drama after impressing me with her action skills in “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” and “Hobbs & Shaw”, and Ellen Burstyn, who plays Martha’s mother Elizabeth. This was definitely Kirby’s film, and she owned it 100 percent. Similar to the film’s tone, Kirby’s performance was subtle, yet deeply affecting with how well-balanced her acting range was. Based on what I’ve seen, this is something that should help make her presence known during this year's awards season. As for Burstyn herself, she was absolutely stunning, especially during her scenes with Kirby. Shia LaBeouf also managed to impress me once again with his respectable performance as Sean. However, if you’re expecting him to earn a few nominations for his role, I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen as he has been removed from Netflix’s “For Your Consideration” page due to him being accused of alleged abuse by FKA Twigs. This is such a shame because he’s been doing so well with his recent roles, and I would hate to see him go back to square one if the allegations turn out to be true. Going back to the opening sequence, I would say that this was my favorite part of the film mostly because of Mundruczó’s direction and the cinematography. Its long single takes helped keep track of the sequence in great detail, and the commitment of the film’s cast and Mundruczó himself helped make the process of home birth both real and absorbing. It might not suit well for everyone, but for those who don’t mind this type of stuff, it was an impressive way to start off a film like this.
Overall, “Pieces of a Woman” is a grounded and deeply moving portrait of grief that offers plenty of rewards for viewers who are patient. The film’s slow pacing and the middle section prevented it from being a tour de force, but everything else managed to keep it from sinking even further into depression. The performances were stunning, Mundruczó’s direction and Wéber’s script were both top-notch, and the cinematography was simply astonishing. This is another appealing, yet somber, drama that’s powered by the actors themselves as well as its realistic representation. It can be challenging for me to recommend this one to everyone, most notably people who went through that process themselves. However, if you think you can handle this subject matter, then by all means, go check it out.