Pieces of a Woman is opened by the home birth scene in a long take of 22 minutes which has been widely discussed, as a showcase for almost every department. First, of course, Benjamin Loeb’s cinematography, where the camera is able to follow all the details of the Mise-en-scène that was built by the director, Kornél Mundruczó, in order to give birth to the moment as real as possible. Realism that grips the attention of the audience is also the emotion of the audience. Even the special effects of making Vanessa Kirby look convincing as a woman in labor are commendable. Top Movie Site
This moment also introduces us to Kirby’s first-class performance, which will make the audience hold their breath, while feeling the pain and suffering of her character. Later the actress gave even more. But apart from Kirby’s labor and acting scenes, what else are people talking about this film? I don’t think so much, if not none. Apart from the fact that these two elements stand out, in the rest of its duration, Pieces of a Woman does not offer anything special.
It is not a spoiler to say that the delivery did not end with a joyful celebration. Almost all promotional materials have revealed that Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) lost their babies. The mistake is transferred to Eva (Molly Parker) as an impromptu substitute midwife. Martha’s mother, Elizabeth (Ellen Burstyn), insists on throwing Eva into prison. According to Elizabeth, one should be blamed and rewarded. Martha didn’t think the same.
Martha continued her life, returned to the office even though people gave her different looks. The script, written by Mundruczó’s wife, says Wéber, is based on the personal tragedy they experienced, exposing the protagonist’s wounds, which are exacerbated by a lot of pressure from those around him. Saying they want to help, they really only intend to fulfill their respective egos. The desire for Martha to improve was not based entirely on genuine concern, but because the way Martha handled their grief made them uncomfortable.
They forget (or don’t even care?) That it was Martha who lost the pieces of herself. It’s amazing how Kirby embodies her character’s grief. The grief that often makes Martha look empty, but that is not a form of weakness. He is fragile, but still trying to hold on firmly. She is fragile, but refuses to be crushed. In fact, you could say, even though Martha suffered the most, she was also the one who could organize herself the most. She’s a woman with dignity. Mundruczó knows very well how well the actress is performing. It is not uncommon for both background music and voice to be removed, in order to let Kirby’s acting “speak the loudest” in the painful silence. Best Movie
Contrary to Kirby’s realist approach, there is Shia LaBeouf, who, as usual, has an explosive tendency. Watching it was tiring. I have always thought of LaBeouf as a fellow teacher of Nicolas Cage. Both of them like to appear exaggerated. The difference is, Cage’s hyperbole style tends to be entertaining, while seeing LaBeouf torture himself is also torturous. The world where his characters live must be a world where the sun doesn’t shine.
This time it wasn’t entirely LaBeouf’s fault. The script tries too hard to present extreme situations. Not only Sean, almost all of the supporting figures around Martha are described as villains. Whatever they did, Martha always hurt and angered the audience. This method is effective in making us support Martha, but it is too manipulative, for a film that opens through scenes that are made with passion to present the strongest realism possible.
Surprisingly, at the same time Wéber seemed to be trying to humanize them, and even seemed to encourage the audience to sympathize. In the end I was never even sure what to feel, and how to behave with them. It could be that Pieces of a Woman wants to be fair. The problem is, if this is the case, the decision to manipulate the audience’s emotions as I mentioned above will backfire.
Apart from being emotionally confusing, it’s also a waste of time. For example, instead of focusing on Sean (who seems to want to justify his actions), why not invite the audience to spend more time with Martha to strengthen the intimacy of the story? Pieces of a Woman are actually made based on good intentions, but unfortunately, the pieces fail to fit together properly. Still, the film deserves to be watched, solely for Vanessa Kirby’s acting and the labor scene. Movie Review