Up 2,303 this week

Pieces of April (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  28 November 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 17,699 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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A fading smalltime barber is forced to hire the last person on earth he'd want working in his shop - a woman.

Director: Chris J. Ford
Stars: John Ratzenberger, Shelly Cole, Cindy Pickett
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After losing her job, making out with her soon-to-be former boss and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, Claudia Larson faces spending the holiday with her family.

Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, Robert Downey Jr.
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

3 friends try to land a star actress for their student film.

Director: Mark Bashian
Stars: Marisa Renee Odom, Nick Slatkin, Jimmy Zerda
Word Wars (2004)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A look at the obsessive world of competitive Scrabble.

Directors: Eric Chaikin, Julian Petrillo
Stars: Joe Edley, Matt Graham, Marlon Hill
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

The story of a girl who is willing to do anything to become Valedictorian, even if it means murdering the teacher that stands in her way.

Director: Kevin Williamson
Stars: Helen Mirren, Marisa Coughlan, Katie Holmes
Go (1999)
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Go! tells the story of the events after a drug deal, told from three different points of view.

Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Sarah Polley, Jay Mohr, Scott Wolf
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man's peculiar upbringing renders him unable to competently cope with the struggle of growing up.

Director: Burr Steers
Stars: Kieran Culkin, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Documentary following Susan Tom of Fairfield, California and her 11 adopted special needs children.

Director: Jonathan Karsh
Stars: Susan Tom, Anthony Tom, Faith Tom
Thirteen (2003)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A thirteen-year-old girl's relationship with her mother is put to the test as she discovers drugs, sex, and petty crime in the company of her cool but troubled best friend.

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed
Gypsy 83 (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two young misfits head for New York City to celebrate their idol and muse, Stevie Nicks, at The Night of 1,000 Stevies. Along the road, in order for them to escape their painful pasts, they... See full summary »

Director: Todd Stephens
Stars: Sara Rue, Kett Turton, Karen Black
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Al Fountain, a middle-aged electrical engineer, is on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when he decides to take his time coming home from a business trip, rents a car, and heads out looking ... See full summary »

Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: John Turturro, Sam Rockwell, Catherine Keener
Waydowntown (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A group of young employees bet a month's salary, winner takes all, on who can last the longest without going outside.

Director: Gary Burns
Stars: Fab Filippo, Don McKellar, Marya Delver


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?


Shot in just 16 days on a budget of $100,000. Costs were kept this low by the film company InDigEnt cutting a deal with the unions. This meant that Peter Hedges was paid $10 to direct the film, and another $10 to write it. All the actors worked for $248 a day. 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 »


Joy Burns: 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Properties and furniture courtesy of Jack Marcus Brodsky & Family. See more »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Thanksgiving Scenes (2011) See more »


Traditional, arrangement by Cheng Yu
Performed by The UK Chinese Ensemble
Courtesy of FirstCom Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The best Thanksgiving movie ever
3 April 2004 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Thanksgiving has always meant a lot to me. Unlike the stereotypical depiction of the holiday from movies, I always found it to be, beyond any other day of the year, the day when my family is the closest. Differences and resentments fade for a day, possibly because we're Midwesterners of German descent and there's nothing we like more than food. Whatever the reason, it's a pleasant holiday for me. Pieces of April captures the way I feel about Thanksgiving perfectly, and it moved me as deeply as any movie I can think of. It has a few flaws, a few things that could have been changed for the better, but its overall effect made me overjoyed and emotionally crushed at the same time. Patricia Clarkson was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as a mother of three dying of breast cancer. She's not a very nice person, and she's not too pleased with the way her life has come out. Katie Holmes plays April, Clarkson's eldest daughter. She lives in a crummy apartment in NYC and has invited her family to Thanksgiving dinner, most likely to be her mother's last. Unfortunately, Holmes finds that her oven doesn't work. She desperately searches the other apartments in her building for someone who isn't using their oven. A third track follows April's black boyfriend who rides his motorized scooter around the city for reasons that are at first obscure. It's a comedy, and a very, very funny one at that, but the themes of family and past injuries are remarkably touching. Clarkson is amazing, and she is the most obviously impressive performer in the film. However, Katie Holmes really proves herself to be one of the best actresses of her generation; her role is much more subtle and complex than Clarkson's. Oliver Platt plays April's father, and he also gives a subtle performance as the person trying to unite the family before his wife is gone. The only thing that really bothered me was the character of Wayne (played by Sean Hayes), one of the apartment dwellers whom April asks for help. He agrees to help her, but he thinks that she owes him something big, i.e., sex. That's surely believable, but the character is played as a goofy, eccentric cartoon character. It's far below the standard of the rest of the film. It reminds me a lot of Mickey Rooney's character in Breakfast at Tiffany's, an underthought splotch on what is otherwise a masterpiece. I wonder if it will have anywhere near as powerful an effect on others as it did on me (I wept for nearly a half an hour, and occasionally sobbed for almost an hour after that), but I am certainly more than willing to stick up for a movie like this that I really believe in. 10/10.

51 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Narcissistic mother perennial08
The Ending? still-searching
Sean Hayes was hilarious! dancerchick2727
So surprised I hadn't heard of this before Writerchamp13
Discuss Pieces of April (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: