Pieces of April 2003 ★★★½

As a Brit I don't really understand the whole Thanksgiving celebrations in the States. I gather it's a big deal and has the same importance as say Christmas or Easter and that did come across in a sometimes darkly comic drama.
April is the eldest daughter and considered the "black sheep" of the family. A tempestuous and bohemian spirit it is fairly obvious from the other family members that April has caused the rest of them a lot of worry and heartache.
The simple story of April and her invitation to the family to come for Thanksgiving dinner,this is a roller-coaster of emotions as things don't go quite to plan. With her mother suffering badly from breast cancer and expecting the end soon,this will be their last Thanksgiving as a family. A movie that takes you on a journey,from the pain of watching a loved one suffer to the kindness of strangers and the hope of some form of redemption.
Oliver Platt and the incredible Patricia Clarkson take the acting plaudits but Katie Holmes has rarely been better. An intelligent and thought-provoking look at dysfunctional families this was an enjoyable if somewhat over-wrought affair. Thanks to Lise and "The Whites" for the recommendation.


  • Just saw your review now, Andy ( after our annual re-watch). So glad you liked it!

    Even though we have our own Thanksgiving up here in Canada ( it's today ) it doesn't have nearly the import of our neighbours to the south's version. From chatting with my various American friends and family over the years, it's at least as important to them, if not more, than Christmas. If you think about it, it makes sense, as the celebration is all about family. It's real meaning hasn't been perverted and commercialized. ( although they do kick-off their Christmas shopping season the day after )

  • I think by this point Pieces of April has become a nostalgia thing for us, but I certainly remember loving it the first time I saw it as well. It's just a nice little story that doesn't pretend to be anything other than that. Perhaps that is why I loved it so much. I'm glad you saw it, Andy. As you say, Katie Holmes has rarely been better.

  • @Lise & Jonathan- I can fully understand your love for this and although it maybe didn't grab me quite as much as it has your family, I did appreciate the recommendation. Happy Thanksgiving by the way hope your day was easier than Aprils.

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