While some of its speeches might be a little too mannered and stagey (if still gamely performed by the cast) PIECES OF A WOMAN still comes out on the captivating side. How grief corrupts and deforms people is not sugarcoated by writer Katia Wéber and director Kornél Mundruczó, and the opening extended home birth scene couldn’t be more compelling. It’s a prickly film to engage with, bringing to light some difficult truths about human behaviour, but is nonetheless powerful and thoughtful. Vanessa Kirby’s raw and ravaged performance as her character spirals over several months is an understandable awards front-runner, but Ellen Burstyn threatens to steal the show as Martha’s ailing but still formidable mother. Expect a tough watch, but not one entirely lacking in hope. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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