Pieces of a Woman is a movie that touches on real life, and real heartbreak. It is an absolute must watch movie, but have tissues handy.
From the moment I read the description of Pieces of a Woman I knew it was going to be a hard watch. As a mother I am always sensitive when it comes to movies like this, and having had a home birth myself, I felt like I was going to be able to relate — at a least a little bit.
But there is no way I could have been prepared for the heartbreak that this movie brings. It does such a great job of showing the breakdown of a woman, a man, and their relationship, after an incredibly heartbreaking loss.
This movie starts off with a home birth — which lasts for about 30 minutes of the film. I have seen some people say that this part went on too long, but I have to disagree. I think it was very important for the film’s finale to see the way this birth played out. To spend time in it. To get into the character’s heads as they went through this life changing moment. The movie itself is two hours long so it felt right to spend a quarter of that focused on the tragedy that occurred.
Vanessa Kirby stars as Martha in this movie and I was shocked to find out that she doesn’t have any kids. Her acting during birth is phenomenal and actually gave me some flashbacks to what the birth of my daughters was like at times.
That, plus her acting as she deals with the grief and mourns her loss proves that she is one to keep an eye on. This is her breakout role and I can tell you, she is certainly going places.
I have to hand it to Shia LaBeouf as well, who stars as Sean in this movie. His character felt so real, and although I didn’t approve of all of his actions, I could 100% see a father dealing with loss acting like that. I don’t want to give spoilers but I felt like I could see his world crumbling and him breaking down as time went on.
Problems With The Movie
All that being said, I do have some problems with this movie. It is very long, which can cause people to lose interest. There were some moments I found myself reading text messages or browsing social media while watching — especially in the middle.
I also am not a fan of the way this portrays home birth at times. Which is likely based on the fact that I had one of my own. While the movie does ultimately come at it that this is just a heartbreaking thing that happened and it wasn’t necessarily because they were at home versus the hospital, I feel like it shines a negative light on home birth.
Babies can absolutely die in the hospital as well, this didn’t happen because they were at home. There is no telling what would have happened if they were in the hospital.
Pieces of a Woman is a movie that is going to be hard for a lot of people to watch. Parents, those that have lost children, and likely others who don’t even fall into those categories as well. It is heartbreaking, dark, and gritty — but it shows the reality of what happens during grief. It shows that everyone deals with loss in their own way.
Is this a perfect movie? No. Is it a little too long? Probably. But does it tell a story that I think everyone should watch? Yes, yes it does. Pieces of a Woman is a hard watch emotionally, but it shows how people deal with grief differently and is a must watch.
Be sure to check out these quotes from Pieces of a Woman.
About Pieces of a Woman
A heartbreaking home birth leaves a woman grappling with the profound emotional fallout, isolated from her partner and family by a chasm of grief.
Pieces of a Woman is now available to watch on Netflix!
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.