Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
In a very poor zone of New York, April Burns and her boyfriend, the Afro-American Bobby, are preparing to receive April's family for thanksgiving dinner. While Bobby tries to borrow a suit for himself, April realizes that her stove is broken. She tries desperately to find a neighbor that can let her cook the turkey, since she does not want to fail (again) with her family. Meanwhile, in a suburb of Pennsylvania, her dysfunctional family is preparing to travel to New York. While driving, the relationship between the Burns and their black-sheep April is disclosed through the conversations between her father Jim, her resented mother Joy, her brother, her sister and her grandmother. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Although the film is dedicated to Peter Hedges' mother, who died of cancer, the only true aspect he incorporated is the line where Joy talks about the fictional singer "Smack Daddy". The line is almost word for word what Peter's mother told him while in the hospital, the only exception being that she was talking about Barry White. See more »
Joy's wig is wet after she rinses it in the sink. Presumably a short time later, the ride continues, but Joy's wig is completely dry. See more »
This way, instead of April showing up with some new piercing or some ugly new tattoo and, God forbid, staying overnight, this way, we get to show up, experience the disaster that is her life, smile through it, and before you know it, we're on our way back home.
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In memory of my mother, Carole Hedges, who loved every day. See more »
New Traditions Meet Old Over the Streets and Up the Stairs
"Pieces of April" is a wonderful New York component for a trilogy of mordant but ultimately sweet holiday movies, along with the Parisian "La Buche" and the multi-ethnic L. A. "What's Cooking."
I particularly identified with Katie Holmes's character's incompetence at cooking Thanksgiving dinner when the other women in the theater were laughing uproariously at her efforts and I wasn't even sure what she was doing wrong, other than focusing like I would do more on the decorations than the food preparation.
Screenwriter and debut director Peter Hedges filmed in poorly lit digital video on an evidently minuscule budget but with a terrific cast and mise en scenes.
The characters who embark on parallel picaresque odysseys in a quaintly but believably diverse Lower East Side tenement and suburbs to city road trip are refreshingly individual and un-stereotyped in surprising directions, even if the actors may overdo the theatrical flourishes. Sean Hayes especially over-fusses his neighbor bit. Patricia Clarkson is marvelous as a mother with daughter issues and cancer.
There was nary a dry eye in the house at the end.
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