Pieces of April (2003)
April Burns is a wild, 21-year-old young woman with a very big problem. Against her own better judgment, she's invited her estranged, straight laced family for Thanksgiving dinner. Her boyfriend, Bobby, wants to help, but she banishes him from the apartment while she attempts to cook the meal. To make matters worse, she then discovers that her oven doesn't work. So, while April is forced to ask her eccentric neighbors for help in cooking her fifteen pound turkey, the Burns Family begins a reluctant journey from suburban Pennsylvania toward New York City's Lower East Side. April's Dad, Jim Burns tries to convince the family that the day will be beautiful. However, her mom, Joy, has her doubts and freely voices them. April's teenage sister and brother are squeezed between Grandma Dottie, and a bag of snacks in the back seat, as the Burns' family car hurtles toward Manhattan--and what will most likely be disaster. … More
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Critic Reviews for Pieces of April
Laughter and poignancy go hand in hand in this DV debut whose comedy that may be standard, but never ceases to deliver sharp, dark laughs.
Pieces of April is built around the tired premise of a dysfunctional family's Thanksgiving get-together, but -- surprise -- it's fresh.
It's in the cross-cutting between April's disaster-prone preparations and her family's turbulent journey that Hedges's movie finds its lively and likeable rhythm.
This is one of those quietly wonderful films that really deserves an audience.
The film more than earns its heartwarming finale by virtue of the skilled performances of the leads.
Peter Hedges sustains the idea this family's interactions have begun with bared teeth for years. If they can summon it, one comforting moment will have to do. At best, it's a ramshackle reconciliation of tough-minded emotion and well-earned laughter.
April's cranberry sauce may be canned but the laughter and tears of an affecting, unsentimental coda are real.
Pieces of April has its heart in the right place, and while it may not always be entirely successful, marks a promising debut for a talented filmmaker.
Screenwriter Peter Hedges makes his directorial debut with the best entry to date in the burgeoning Thanksgiving Day-from-hell genre.
Had Hedges gone with unknown actors, or non-professionals, it might have worked, but with recognisable faces one can never quite suspend disbelief enough to care about the characters.
A delightful, charming, instant holiday classic which makes us laugh repeatedly while delivering an emotionally satisfying message about unconditional love.
A series of terrific performances (led by the amazing Patricia Clarkson) make this unusual Thanksgiving comedy a feast for the mind.
A shining example of just how compelling and affecting low-budget filmmaking can be when you've got a good story and strong cast.
Peter Hedges has made a simple and sweet movie that will leave you misty eyed.
Holmes, Clarkson, and Platt steer the course through the straight and narrow and keep the film from becoming an inedible holiday leftover.
This delightful little miracle of a movie reminds us of how crucial it is that we appreciate and love each other in spite of our failures, grudges, and disappointments.
..I can't stress enough the grace and beauty of Peter Hedges' haunting picture ..
Katie Holmes... gives her most subtle and audacious performance yet...
Audience Reviews for Pieces of April
A one part great movie and one part bad movie. The storylines of Derek Luke and Katie Holmes are perfect and extremely well done, while the scenes with the family are the same cliche seen over and over. I think what also works extremely well is the cinematography and documentary look. It feels like you're living in this apartment building and taking a look at a real place rather than fiction. Overall, it works. It's just not as good as it theoretically could have been.More
I've wanted to see this movie for a while. It was definitely enjoyable. I'm starting to like these quirky, independent, true-to-life movies more than the big action blockbusters actually. You could feel the awkwardness of both sides of the family through the television.More
A disappointing indie film that promised so much more. Only Patricia Clarkson?s performance is worth watching for as she?s, as always, on great form.More
Pieces of April Quotes
- Joy Burns:
- I'm glad we're going, Jim. This way instead of April showing up with some new piercing, tattoo, and, God forbid, staying overnight, this way we get to show up, experience the disaster that is her life, smile, and before we know it, we're on our way back home.
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