We had nothing but raves for Martin Scorcese-produced PIECES OF A WOMAN coming out of TIFF ’20 and we’re so excited to share with you this Trailer! Witness Vanessa Kirby’s Best Actress-winning performance from the Venice Film Festival.
Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives change irrevocably when a home birth ends in unimaginable tragedy. Thus begins a yearlong odyssey for Martha, who must navigate her grief while working through fractious relationships with Sean and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn), along with the publicly vilified midwife (Molly Parker), whom she must face in court. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó (WHITE GOD, winner of the 2014 Prix Un Certain Regard Award), written by Kata Wéber, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, PIECES OF A WOMAN is a deeply personal, searing, and ultimately transcendent story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
PIECES OF A WOMAN arrives in theatres December 30, 2020 and on Netflix January 7, 2021.
Pieces of a Woman is an intimate portrait of a couple who experience the greatest loss. Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Shawn (Shia LaBeouf) are passionately in love and eagerly expecting the birth of their daughter. When the night arrives, they learn their Midwife is busy with another client and a different one is sent. Unfortunately, complications arise with their home birth and the couple is sent spiralling into heart-wrenching tragedy.
Director Kornél Mundruczó shoots this outstanding Film with unflinching honesty. He is known for putting his characters under immense pressure. His use of long, continuous takes in pivotal scenes creates a real authenticity, us watching as scenes unfold in real-time and the result is both agonizing and gut-wrenching for the viewer.
The Film’s opening sequence lasts for 30 minutes. It consists of long takes following Martha, Shawn and their Midwife (Molly Parker) around their house — spanning from her first contractions to her delivery. This scene perfectly shows the love which Martha and Shawn share, and their desire to welcome their baby girl. We are immersed into the pressure cooker that becomes their house and in witnessing Martha‘s extreme difficulty, we get the unsettling sense that something isn’t right. Under Mundruczó’s masterful direction, this scene becomes a sweeping emotional journey and the sets the stage for what are some truly powerful performances.
Kirby is magnificent as a woman grappling with grief, while her body and family constantly remind her of what she lost. She commands each scene with powerful actions and controlled expressions. Most impressive, she finds that delicate balance in Martha’s newly hardened heart and her vulnerability. LaBeouf gives one of the greatest performances of his career. He is at his best drowning in Shawn’s grief and is desperate for Martha‘s love and affection again. While often we see this from a woman’s perspective, the Film gives us a genuine snapshot of what it might be like for a man.
Kirby and LaBeouf even though their characters are so different, have a palpable chemistry that makes us fall in love with them. They’re portraying a couple who are facing the biggest challenge in their relationship. Thanks to their strong chemistry we are invested in their love and are devastated when we see it crumbling. They are joined by a talented Supporting Cast. Parker is great portraying the anxiety of a Mmidwife during the home birth and expresses her unspoken guilt so well in the Third Act, within the courtroom. Ellen Burstyn is superb as Martha’s overbearing mother, always making her presence felt but especially in a confrontation between her and Kirby.
Pieces of a Woman is difficult watch, but it’s one that will change you after seeing it. Screenwriter Kata Wéber has written a beautiful, heartbreaking Script that’s about surviving after the most horrifying loss. She does this by allowing us to check-in with her characters once a month, fall to spring. This shows us the changes happening within and outside them as we watch them grow in their own ways. Time heals the pain and the Film captures this process so beautifully. And Wéber reminds us that a woman is comprised of infinite pieces which only she is able to break and rebuild again.
Pieces of a Woman screens at TIFF ’20:
Sat, Sep 12 12:00pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Wed, Sep 16 6:00pm
Online at Bell Digital Cinema
Wed, Sep 16 9:00pm
Visa Skyline Drive-In at CityView
The complete list of Films to premiere at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival was released earlier today. More than ever, this year’s films are focused on representation and inclusion being a point of focus. We see loud and clear, movies this year about women, black people, indigenous people and people of colour.
Added to the slate are films like Kornél Mundruczó‘s PIECES OF A WOMAN starring The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby as a woman coping with the loss of her baby; Viggo Mortensen‘s directorial debut FALLING, shot here in Toronto, about a gay man dealing with his prejudiced father Emma Seligman‘s SHIVA BABY starring Molly Gordon (Good Boys) about a young woman who runs into her sugar daddy at a funeral with her family; J Blakeson‘s I CARE A LOT is about a legal conservator (Rosamund Pike) who defrauds elderly clients who has a run-in with a gangster;Cathy Brady‘s WILDFIRE starring Anne Heche, centering on a young girl who releases a dark secret in her friendship with a wild horse; Sonia Kennebeck‘s Documentary ENEMIES OF THE STATE which is about a family targeted by the U.S. government when it is learned their son is a hacker; Florian Zeller‘s THE FATHER starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, centering on a man who refuses help from his daughter and his coping with aging; the Horror SHADOW IN THE CLOUD by Roseanne Liang and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, about a WWII pilot travelling with top secret documents, who discovers an evil force; and Regina King‘s ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI where we see Boxer Cassius Clay work together with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brow to change the course of history in the segregated South. Mira Nair‘s A SUITABLE BOY is set to close the Festival.
These are in addition to some of the centerpiece films announced prior like AMMONITE, NOMADLAND, GOOD JOE BELL, CONCRETE COWBOY, BRUISED and Opening Night Gala DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA.
Canadian representation is also very pronounced with Director Aisling Chin-Yee returning with NO ORDINARY MAN, a Documentary about a transgender Jazz Musician Billy Tipton who for many years was framed as an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of music career. Others include Tracey Deer‘s BEANS, Michelle Latimer‘s two films INCONVENIENT INDIAN and TRICKSTER and both Madeleine Sims-Fewer/Dusty Mancinelli co-directed VIOLATION.
On this year’s lineup, TIFF Co-Head and Artistic Director says, “This year’s lineup reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover.”.
Complete line-up below:
180 Degree Rule Farnoosh Samadi | Iran 76 Days Hao Wu, Anonymous, Weixi Chen | USA Ammonite Francis Lee | United Kingdom Another Round (Druk) Thomas Vinterberg | Denmark Bandar Band Manijeh Hekmat | Iran/Germany Beans Tracey Deer | Canada Beginning (Dasatskisi) Dea Kulumbegashvili | Georgia/France The Best is Yet to Come (Bu Zhi Bu Xiu) Wang Jing | China Bruised Halle Berry | USA City Hall Frederick Wiseman | USA Concrete Cowboy Ricky Staub | USA David Byrne’s American Utopia Spike Lee | USA (Opening Night Film) The Disciple Chaitanya Tamhane | India Enemies of the State Sonia Kennebeck | USA Falling Viggo Mortensen | Canada/United Kingdom The Father Florian Zeller | United Kingdom/France Fauna Nicolás Pereda | Mexico/Canada Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds Werner Herzog, Clive Oppenheimer | United Kingdom/USA Gaza mon amour Tarzan Nasser, Arab Nasser | Palestine/France/Germany/Portugal/Qatar Get the Hell Out (Tao Chu Li Fa Yuan) I-Fan Wang | Taiwan Good Joe Bell Reinaldo Marcus Green | USA I Care A Lot J Blakeson | United Kingdom Inconvenient Indian Michelle Latimer | Canada The Inheritance Ephraim Asili | USA Lift Like a Girl (Ash Ya Captain) Mayye Zayed | Egypt/Germany/Denmark Limbo Ben Sharrock | United Kingdom Memory House (Casa de Antiguidades) João Paulo Miranda Maria | Brazil/France MLK/FBI Sam Pollard | USA The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel Joel Bakan, Jennifer Abbott | Canada New Order (Nuevo orden) Michel Franco | Mexico Night of the Kings (La Nuit des Rois) Philippe Lacôte | Côte d’Ivoire/France/Canada/Senegal Nomadland Chloé Zhao | USA No Ordinary Man Aisling Chin-Yee, Chase Joynt | Canada Notturno Gianfranco Rosi | Italy/France/Germany One Night in Miami Regina King | USA Penguin Bloom Glendyn Ivin | Australia Pieces of a Woman Kornél Mundruczó | USA/Canada/Hungary Preparations to Be Together For an Unknown Period of Time (Felkészülés meghatározatlan ideig tartó együttlétre) Lili Horvát | Hungary Quo Vadis, Aïda? Jasmila Žbanić | Bosnia and Herzegovina/Norway/The Netherlands/Austria/Romania/France/Germany/Poland/Turkey Shadow In The Cloud Roseanne Liang | USA/New Zealand Shiva Baby Emma Seligman | USA/Canada Spring Blossom Suzanne Lindon | France A Suitable Boy Mira Nair | United Kingdom/India (Closing Night Presentation) Summer of 85 (Été 85) François Ozon | France The Third Day Felix Barrett, Dennis Kelly | United Kingdom Trickster Michelle Latimer | Canada True Mothers (Asa Ga Kuru) Naomi Kawase | Japan Under the Open Sky (Subarashiki Sekai) Miwa Nishikawa | Japan Violation Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Dusty Mancinelli | Canada Wildfire Cathy Brady | United Kingdom/Ireland
The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 10–19, 2020.
More here on Films and their respective Programmes.