Watch Pieces of April
- 1 hr 20 min
Pieces of April is a bittersweet comedy-drama from 2003 that explores the themes of family, forgiveness, and renewal. The film stars Katie Holmes as April Burns, a young woman who has recently moved into a small apartment in New York City with her boyfriend. It is Thanksgiving day, and April is preparing to cook her first turkey dinner for her family, who are coming from the suburbs to visit her. However, things do not go as planned, and April faces a series of challenges that test her patience, resilience, and love.
The movie is divided into several interlocking storylines that follow April and her family members as they travel to and from the city. On the one hand, we have April's struggle to cook a turkey with a broken oven, a missing family recipe, and a lack of cooking skills. She is also dealing with her strained relationship with her mother, Joy (played by Patricia Clarkson), who is terminally ill and reluctant to come to the city to see her daughter. April's father, Jim (played by Oliver Platt), tries to keep the peace between them but also has his own doubts and fears about the trip. Meanwhile, April's younger siblings, Beth and Timmy, have their own adventures in the car, where they bicker, fight, and bond over music, games, and snacks.
On the other hand, we have the stories of the people who cross paths with April and her family during their journey. There is Wayne (played by Sean Hayes), a flamboyant gay neighbor who helps April with her cooking and provides comic relief with his one-liners and dance moves. There is Bobby (played by Derek Luke), a musician who takes the same train as Joy and strikes up a conversation with her about life, death, and regrets. There is also Evette (played by Isiah Whitlock Jr.), a street vendor who sells April a rose and gives her some unexpected advice about love and family.
To say more about the plot would spoil the surprises and twists that make Pieces of April a unique and memorable movie. Suffice it to say that the film blends humor and drama, realism and fantasy, cynicism and hope, in a way that feels both fresh and familiar. Writer-director Peter Hedges, who also wrote What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Dan in Real Life, brings his knack for quirky characters, poignant moments, and witty dialogue to this small-scale gem that shines with heart and soul.
One of the main strengths of Pieces of April is its cast, particularly the three leads. Holmes, who was known for her role in Dawson's Creek at the time, delivers a nuanced and captivating performance as April, capturing both her charm and her flaws, her optimism and her anxiety. Platt, who is one of the most versatile actors of his generation, brings a warmth and gravitas to Jim, who tries to be a good husband, father, and friend despite his doubts and fears. Clarkson, who won a Best Supporting Actress award for her role, steals the show with her portrayal of Joy, a woman who is both strong and vulnerable, bitter and regretful, loving and distant. Her scenes with Platt, which range from nostalgic to confrontational, are some of the most memorable and moving in the film.
Another strength of Pieces of April is its visual and musical style, which adds to the emotional resonance of the story. The movie uses a mix of different formats, such as Super 8 footage, digital video, and black-and-white stills, to convey the different moods and perspectives of the characters. The music, which ranges from oldies to indie rock, complements the action and creates a sense of nostalgia and intimacy. Overall, the film feels like a personal and heartfelt tribute to the joys and pains of family life, and the power of forgiveness and love.
In conclusion, Pieces of April is a must-see movie for anyone who loves independent cinema, character-driven stories, and humanistic themes. It is a film that resonates long after the credits roll, and that reminds us of the fragility and beauty of life. Whether you are a fan of Holmes, Platt, or Clarkson, or simply looking for a film that balances humor and drama, this movie is sure to charm and touch you.
Pieces of April is a 2003 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 20 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 70.