Alice Oscura, Featured Writer
Warning: Mild Spoilers
Plot: Martha Weiss (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean Carson (Shia LaBeouf) are expecting a baby any day now and they choose to have a home birth. However, when Martha suddenly goes into labour her original doula (midwife) is unable to come because she is occupied with another delivery. Instead, midwife Eva Woodward (Molly Parker) is sent to help Martha deliver her baby, and things do not go according to plan.
Review: It turns out Pieces of A Woman is not only a tough one to watch, but is also difficult to review without dropping a few spoilers unfortunately.
Writer Kata Wéber based its plot on the experience of losing her child with director Kornél Mundruczó. This duo created a passion project that is an understandably slow build on the story of a woman who has to find her own way to heal.
Vanessa Kirby does a disturbingly brilliant job of representing a woman in labour at the beginning of the film. The labour scene takes an agonising 22 minutes to execute and is slightly cringy for the faint of heart. So be warned if you are easily disturbed, because the scene emotionally immerses the audience into the situation at hand. Molly Parker does not have a lot of screen time as the replacement midwife, Eva Woodward, but I thought it important to mention how incredibly expressive her facial features were every time she was onscreen.
LaBeouf as Sean Carson seems to mirror his real-life, self-destructive personality as the character here is on a downward spiral in an effort to cope with his grief. Carson is a recovering addict, brutish and from the working class whilst being constantly undermined by his partner’s upper-class family and overly domineering mother-in-law, Elizabeth (veteran actress Ellen Burstyn). It should be noted that LaBeouf’s name was removed from the For Your Consideration page on Netflix in December 2020 after a lawsuit for alleged abuse was filed against him.
But back to Kirby’s powerful performance, which creates the atmosphere for the entire film. I believe that the story is more about Martha’s emotional journey during the healing process. Also there is some symbolism being depicted throughout the film via apples. The apple has long been associated with the story of the creation of man, or to be more precise, the intense pain and emotional anguish that comes with childbirth due to Eve’s mistake in the Garden of Eden. Martha becomes obsessed with apples after the tragedy and it is later revealed why for a bit of clarity to the viewer. Martha begins to collect the seeds of apples in an effort to help them begin the germination process, and by the end of the movie the fruit plays a significant part in bringing about closure to the story and becoming a symbol of hope overall.
In conclusion, Pieces of A Woman is an exhilaratingly sentimental journey that captures the raw emotion after an excruciating loss.
Alice’s Score: 7 out of 10
For my review of Priyanka Chopra’s The Sky is Pink, another story of loss and healing, you can click here.
Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.
I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.