Pieces of April ★★★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.