7.1/10
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180 user 130 critic

Pieces of April (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 28 November 2003 (USA)
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A wayward daughter invites her dying mother and the rest of her estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

Director:

Peter Hedges

Writer:

Peter Hedges
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katie Holmes ... April Burns
Derek Luke ... Bobby
Oliver Platt ... Jim Burns
Alison Pill ... Beth Burns
John Gallagher Jr. ... Timmy Burns
Patricia Clarkson ... Joy Burns
Alice Drummond ... Grandma Dottie
Vitali Baganov ... Half Asleep Man
Lillias White ... Evette
Isiah Whitlock Jr. ... Eugene
Adrian Martinez ... Man in Mohair Sweater
Susan Bruce Susan Bruce ... Tish
Jamari Richardson Jamari Richardson ... Boy on Bicycle
Leila Danette Leila Danette ... Woman in Stairwell
Stephen Chen Stephen Chen ... Lee Loung Tan
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

She's the one in every family.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

28 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pieces of April - Ein Tag mit April Burns See more »

Filming Locations:

Bear Mountain, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,422, 19 October 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,528,664

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$743,364
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The logo on Bobby's t-shirt is that of the German army (Bundeswehr). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jim Burns: Just remember everybody. April is cooking.
Joy Burns: We'll need an extra dozen glazed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... The Cata Family, ... Elan, Scott, Ira and all the tenants of 176 Suffolk Street. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Aphrodisiac
Written by David Mann (as Dave Mann) and Emanuel Kallins (as Emmanuel Kallins)
Performed by Studio Musicians
Courtesy of FirstCom Music, Inc.
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User Reviews

New Traditions Meet Old Over the Streets and Up the Stairs
27 November 2003 | by noraleeSee 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.


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