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Pieces of April (2003)Pieces of April (2003)

Pieces of April (2003)

An intimate Thanksgiving classic with a modern twist

Comedy, Drama, Family

7.2

movie

United States, United States of America

English, Mandarin

Character-driven, Emotional, Grown-up Comedy

2003

Peter Hedges

Adrian Martinez, Alice Drummond, Alison Pill

81 min

Synopsis

Quirky and rebellious April Burns lives with her boyfriend in a low-rent New York City apartment miles away from her emotionally distant family. But when she discovers that her mother has a fatal form of breast cancer, she invites the clan to her place for Thanksgiving. While her father struggles to drive her family into the city, April -- an inexperienced cook -- runs into kitchen trouble and must ask a neighbor for help.

Our Take

7.2
The Staff

The entirety of Pieces of April takes place on Thanksgiving Day, a busy holiday meant to bring loved ones together. Sure enough, April, the eldest Burns daughter, takes great pains to prepare a nice dinner for her visiting family. But we soon learn that she is motivated less by excitement than by dread: she’s long been estranged, disowned even, by her uptight mother, Joy, who is only agreeing to come because she’s sick with cancer. April seems to be on a reluctant mission to fix their fraught relationship, but pesky (albeit funny) mishaps, both on her and Joy’s end, keep getting in the way. 

Shot digitally and very closely with hand-held cameras, Pieces of April looks as intimate as it feels. It’s a snapshot of an era and of a particular family dynamic, one that relatably relies on both love and scorn to keep going. It’s an excellent, honest, and underrated gem of a movie.

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