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Pieces of April (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  28 November 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 17,598 users   Metascore: 70/100
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A wayward daughter invites her dying mother and the rest of her estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Timmy Burns
Grandma Dottie
Half Asleep Man
Man in Mohair Sweater
Susan Bruce ...
Jamari Richardson ...
Boy on Bicycle
Leila Danette ...
Woman in Stairwell
Stephen Chen ...
Lee Loung Tan


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She's the one in every family.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sensuality, drug content and images of nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

28 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pieces of April - Ein Tag mit April Burns  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$48,422 (USA) (17 October 2003)


$2,360,184 (USA) (26 December 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title "Pieces of April" comes from a Three Dog Night song. See more »


At the end of the film, when the snapshots are shown of April and her mother hugging, April is wearing a pink sweater. In the very next shot of Joy's face April is not wearing the sweater. See more »


Evette: I'm 42.
Eugene: No, you 45.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of my mother, Carole Hedges, who loved every day. See more »


Referenced in All the Pieces Together (2004) See more »


Baby Won't You Tell Me
Written by Steve Fawcett
Performed by Studio Musicians
Courtesy of FirstCom Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

New Traditions Meet Old Over the Streets and Up the Stairs
27 November 2003 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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