Rolling Stone - 10/30/2003
"...It's Holmes who holds PIECES together....Holmes nails every laugh without missing the dramatic nuances. She makes April and her movie well worth knowing..."
New York Times - 10/17/2003
"...Intelligent and touching....Each actor shines....This film is worth a few plays..."
Los Angeles Times - 10/17/2003
"...Winning....An especially warm comedy with a hidden heart..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/26/2003
"PIECES OF APRIL has a lot of joy and quirkiness; it's well-intentioned in its screwy way, with flashes of human insight, and actors who can take a moment and make it glow."
Wall Street Journal - 03/06/2009
"[A] fine, minimalist film that evolves from a comedy of alienation to a drama of acceptance and reconciliation."
Katie Holmes is outstanding as the title character in Peter Hedges's PIECES OF APRIL. Holmes stars as April Burns, the black sheep of her family who has left suburbia for a Lower East Side tenement. To reconnect with her mother, Joy (Patricia Clarkson), and father, Jim (Oliver Platt), she invites them and her wisecracking brother (John Gallagher Jr.) and perfect sister (Alison Pill) for Thanksgiving dinner at her apartment, and against their better judgment, the Burnses pile up in the family station wagon, pick up Grandma (Alice Drummond), and head to the big city from the safe confines of their stereotypical suburban home. But Joy is seriously ill, complicating the road trip; meanwhile, April's oven is broken, sending her off to her bizarre and wacky neighbors to try to borrow their kitchen. Her interaction with Wayne (Sean Hayes) is a riot.
Holmes is a revelation as April, showing marvelous range and depth as the outcast daughter who still strives for her mother's affection. Derek Luke is excellent as April's caring boyfriend, who understands how important this Thanksgiving dinner is to her. Platt is solid as the father, with just the right amount of vulnerability, but Clarkson nearly steals the movie; she takes over the screen in every scene she's in. Hedges's directorial debut, following screenplays for WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE, ABOUT A BOY, and A MAP OF THE WORLD, is well-paced and fun to watch. The soundtrack features music by Stephin Merritt with the 6ths and Magnetic Fields.
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Family Interaction |