Pieces of a Woman (2021)
- April 5, 2021
What is more natural than giving birth? And what is more unnatural than a child dying before a parent? Pieces of a Woman is a heartbreaking tale that explores the space between the joy of pregnancy and the grief of the death of an infant and the life that unfold.
Vanessa Kirby stars as expectant mother, Martha Weiss. In the late days of her pregnancy Martha is busy preparing the finishing touches on her nursery and playing the referee between her wealthy and slightly overbearing mother and her working class, stubborn partner, Sean (Shia LaBeouf). Even with the low key tension between the two, Martha is blissfully happy as she awaits the arrival of her much-loved daughter.
On the night Martha goes into labor her, regular midwife is unable to attend the birth. Substitute midwife, Eva (Molly Parker), arrives to assist Martha but Sean is agitated and concerned because of the discomfort Martha is in. Confusion ensues as Eva attempts to concentrate on the delivery while Sean demands Eva calls for the paramedics.
Eventually, Eva agrees the paramedics should be called. Within minutes of the phone call, Martha delivers her baby girls. All looks well initially but as the paramedics arrive, the baby stops breathing. They are unable to revive the baby and she dies in her mother’s arms.
In the weeks and months that follow, Martha’s life unravels. Sean leaves her and her mother attempts to interfere and control her life and decisions. This includes forcing Martha into a lawsuit against her midwife, Eva. As the case progresses, Martha has a moment of reckoning – will she let go of everything in the face of her devastating grief or will she rebuild her life, her hope on her own terms.
Vanessa Kirby and Molly Parker are brilliant together onscreen. Their chemistry is remarkable. Each woman fills the screen on their own but in their shared scenes there is a beautiful balance in their matching strengths and vulnerability.
Based on a screenplay by Kata Weber, Pieces of a Woman, is a gritty, gut-wrenching look at the reality of life after loss and how to learn to breathe and life again. This story is beautiful and brutal and raw. And it’s truthful.
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