A 2021 Film Journey: Day 85

The week is over, and after multiple consecutive days of films that weren’t quite my cup of tea, so today I chose a film that I hope would be a better fit for me. There are only a handful of films left for me to watch that are Oscar nominated this year and then I’ll be able to move on to more films that are more reliably my speed.

Pieces of a Woman (2020, Dir. Kornél Mundruczó)

Pieces of a Woman' review: Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf star in a drama  that presents a home birth gone wrong in grueling detail - CNN

For the second night in a row, my film included the song ‘Untitled 3’ by Sigur Rós; thankfully, that was the only thing the two films had in common. Pieces of a Woman existed to make its viewers miserable, and that, but in a way that’s purposeful and more productive than Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga unfunny attempts at comedy. It’s arguable that Pieces of a Woman actually wades into the genre of misery-porn, but that genre tends to be a guilty pleasure of mine, so no complaints here on the face of it.

The highlight of the films is undoubtedly the labor scene in the first act. The 24-minute single shot is textbook in creating tension. As the camera moves throughout the house without cutting the ensuing tragedy becomes all but guaranteed. While the film dabbles into melodrama with a bit too heavy a hand at times in this moment the film is unimpeachable. The nominated Vanessa Kirby and her costar Sia LaBeouf play off each other wonderfully in this devastating scene. while LaBeouf’s performance devolved into a bit of showy mess after these moments, Kirby proved her nomination was well deserved.

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