A senior at an elite college, already under severe pressure to complete her thesis and land a prestigious job, must confront the sudden reappearance of her old boyfriend, after his two year... See full summary »
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
One of the inspirations for the movie came from a story Peter Hedges had heard about a group of young adults who had "borrowed" an apartment so they could celebrate their first Thanksgiving in Manhattan together. The oven in the apartment did not work so they had to go door to door in the building, trying to find an oven in which to cook their turkey. 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 »
[discussing old-fashioned turkey shaped salt and pepper shakers that Bobby bought]
We had these when I was a kid.
The one time Joy let me hold them she said, "Be careful, they're worth more than you are."
Well, that's terrible.
Next year they were gone.
So, what happened?
A hammer I was holding fell on them.
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Properties and furniture courtesy of Jack Marcus Brodsky & Family. 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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