Pieces of April (2003)

What a great Thanksgiving!!!!

Reformed wild child April Burns (Katie Holmes) attempts to make Thanksgiving dinner — while battling a temperamental oven — for her estranged suburban family at her grungy New York apartment and anticipates introducing them to her new boyfriend, Bobby (Derek Luke). Oliver Platt, Sean Hayes and Oscar-nominated Patricia Clarkson co-star in this drama that observes a dysfunctional family coming together to address the past and heal the future.

Shot in less than two weeks for less than $300,000, Pieces of April was written and directed by Peter Hedges, who adapted his novel Whats Eating Gilbert Grape.

With that film and this, Hedges shows that he can write a pretty decent script even with familiar source material. He happens to have this screenplay that is not only very comedic but also quite dark in its approach.

Though I did like this film I did have a little bit of complaints. The gritty look started to annoy me as I felt that it just looked way too dirty and cheaply made. There was also this little sub-plot that is really mysterious, only cause the film has it that way. Derek Luke is out doing something, and I kind of never understood what it really was.

All these flaws are quickly excused when the performances come out of these stars. Katie Holmes is actually pretty good in this film and gives charming performance as the leading woman, but the one that really knocks it out of the park here is Patricia Clarkson. She gives an amazing performance as an old and dying woman here is funny but also very tragic. You can see that she misses the times that she missed out on with her daughter, and she is upset about that but also still trying to keep her strength as an old woman. She was by far the best out of the whole cast.

The ending is probably one of the more touching and sincere endings I have ever seen. It really did feel genuine and the whole film basically lead up to this point and doesn’t leave us hanging out.

Consensus: Despite its flaws, Pieces Of April is a sincere, touching, and darkly comedic touch on familiar source material, that features an amazing performance from Patricia Clarkson.



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