Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work (2010)



Critic Consensus: Penetrating Rivers' coarse image, this compelling documentary offers an honest, behind-the-scenes look at her career -- and at show business in general.

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Movie Info

A glimpse into the comedic process and private dramas of legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive.
R (for language and sexual humor)
Comedy , Documentary , Television
Directed By:
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Critic Reviews for Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

All Critics (103) | Top Critics (37)

This behind the scenes, behind the makeup, behind the plastic surgery documentary catches Rivers hard at work, ridiculously hard at work.

August 22, 2010
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The new documentary on Joan Rivers is so in your face, so fraught with harrowing, oversized personal stuff, you might want to get a theatre seat a couple of rows behind where you normally sit, to safely take it all in.

Full Review… | August 13, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Welcome to the on-screen psychoanalysis of Joan Rivers, of which she seems equal parts willing participant and antagonist.

Full Review… | July 16, 2010
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Acting is about honesty, and there's something evasive about both this film and its subject.

Full Review… | June 25, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

A compulsively watchable look at Rivers, show business and the price one pays to try to continue succeeding in it.

Full Review… | June 24, 2010
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Rivers comes across as someone much more complex and vulnerable than her abrasive "Can we talk?" persona. There's a real woman under there, and she's pretty great.

Full Review… | June 23, 2010
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

In the wake of Joan Rivers' death, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding her legacy. Whether people are furious over her sometimes racist, misogynist, transphobic jokes, or happy to sing her praises for opening doors for female comedians, Joan Rivers has been a lot of things for a lot of people. This very eye opening and vulnerable portrayal of the comedy legend really leaves a lasting impression on you. While I didn't think the woman was completely invulnerable, I was unprepared for the stark contrast between her onstage persona and the woman seen in this documentary. Joan Rivers was giving, sweet hearted, and incredibly inappropriate in the best of ways. She took on a lot of stigma from her critics, she cared far too much about what people thought of her, and she was strong in the face of adversity and loss. As an entertainer, many people knew her and what she accomplished in life, but as a person no one really knew Joan like the people around her. This is a very good watch for those mourning, or who want to know the real Rivers, under the guise she donned.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

A very compelling documentary that takes a good look at one year in the life of a workaholic diva of yore who was born to be in the spotlight, and it proves to be quite revealing not only about her need of stardom and recognition but also about show business itself.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This is a documentary that showcases a year in the life for comedian Joan Rivers. Follows her as she tries to get a Broadway show off the ground, continues her stand-up, and her appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. For a woman in her 70's she is very busy, and trying to remain as relevant as ever. At times she comes off as sincere and sweet, then she comes off very hypocritical. For example, she talks very dirty about some people, then says her feelings are hurt as she gets Roasted for comedy central. She's still very funny, and a polarizing figure in the entertainment world. I'm sure a lot of people can't stand her, and sometimes I can't, but here this is more interesting than entertaining. Seen a lot better documentaries, especially ones on comedians(watched one on Don Rickles a few years ago that was amazing), but if your a Rivers fan, then this is a must watch.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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