The film ‘Pieces of Woman’ portraits classical human drama
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Toronto, Sep 23 (Canadian-Media): Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, ‘Pieces of Woman,’ is a moving story of a couple, Martha (Kirby), an executive, and Shawn (LaBeouf), a construction worker with a violent past, experiencing the deepest loss of their first-born daughter due to complications with a midwife (Molly Parker) during their planned home birth.
Martha and Shawn have taken Molly to court and the presence of the media is all over the story questioning the entire practice of home birth. But instead of focusing on the trial, Hungarian director Mundruczó directs the attention of the audience on the grief-stricken couple, especially Martha, who has not only to rebuild her relationship with Shawn but her very identity is at stake
While Martha responds quietly at first with her body still telling her she is pregnant, Shawn in his helplessness and fury looks for someone to blame for their loss. Even Martha’s mother (Burstyn) expressed her helplessness. As Martha attempts to cope up with the loss, a clashing environment from her community makes her realizes that to survive, she would have to forge her own path.
Working from a screenplay by Kata Wéber, and in North America for the first time, Mundruczó, known for developing portraits of strong characters under pressure, directs the cast of the film Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Burstyn, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Molly Parker, Jimmie Fails, and Iliza Schlesinger.
Shot in Montreal and set in Massachusetts, ‘Pieces of a Woman’ is a gradual release from winter into spring during which time he framed the scenes of a woman forced to form a new relationship with her body.
Its 24-minute opening birth sequence, shot in a single take is powerful.
Mundruczó does not try to hold back the affecting audiences as they watch the story two young grief-stricken parents and levels viewers with everything Martha and Sean are going through.
Martha’s extended going into the labor scene is both effective and realistic in portraying the effects of the home birth of a first child physically, emotionally, practically, and mentally.
Besides drawing power from his own Hungarian cinema, he also portrays the classic human dramas of 1970s American film.
Produced by Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson, and Aaron Ryder, the film was screen played by Kata Wéber and edited by Dávid Jancsó.
Born in Gödöllö, Hungary Kornél Mundruczó and trained as an actor at the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest later returned to study directing. His feature films as director include This I Wish and Nothing More (00); Pleasant Days (02), which won the Silver Leopard at Locarno; Johanna (05); Delta (08), which won the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes; Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project (10); White God (14), which won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes; Jupiter’s Moon (17); and Pieces of a Woman (20).