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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 17,696 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 177 user | 131 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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 15 wins & 20 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 ...
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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?


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 »


When Bobby goes out, April is shown with a bandage on her finger long before she actually cuts it. See more »


April Burns: Once, there was this day... this one day when... everyone realized they needed each other.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Ego Trip's Race-O-Rama (2005) See more »


Jolly Old St. Nick
Traditional, arrangement by Alex Constantine
Performed by Alex Constantine
Courtesy of Killer Tracks
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User Reviews

I agree, best Thanksgiving movie ever
13 March 2005 | by (Tel Aviv) – See all my reviews

I am so glad that I decided to plonk down a couple of dollars and see this movie on Pay for Play the other night. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I had one of the nicest movie surprises I had in a long time.

April is a the black sheep of her family, but as Rita Mae Brown wrote in one of her better novels to describe a character, has golden hooves. She's gone off from the hills of, what is filmed anyway, in upstate New York to lower Manhattan. But she's no That Girl. Her previous boyfriend was a drug dealer, and her current fellow, gets his clothing at less than wholesale prices.

She has a mixed bag dysfunctional family, the star of which is the kind of little sister you wish you had sent out to play in traffic when you had a chance, that she is trying to reconnect with. April is too good for this bunch, as she tries to prepare the all American Thanksgiving dinner in her own special way for this undeserving bunch.

It is so touching to see her, finally succeeding (maybe) in her quest for a stove making favors, and decorating the stairway, all 4-5 floors with autumn colored streamers, etc.

I just wanted to hug her!

17 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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