Pieces of April


Top 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2003 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Derek Luke, Allison Pill, Sean Hayes, Oliver Platt

Non-Cast Credits

Peter Hedges, Jonathan Sehring, Caroline Kaplan, John Sloss, John Lyons, Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian, Lucy Barzun, Lucille Masone-Smith, Dianne Dreyer, Tami Reiker, Mark Livolsi


Of all holidays, there is something about Thanksgiving that seems to bring out the worst in family gatherings, and in his incisive and spirited melodrama Pieces of April, Peter Hedges examines the preparations for one family's festive dinner -- one you wouldn't wish on your own worst enemy. The black sheep of the family, April Burns, has for some unknown reason agreed to host her family in the dilapidated tenement home she shares with her boyfriend Bobby. And as if preparing a holiday feast up to her mother's standards, a mother she doesn't exactly have an ideal relationship with, isn't difficult enough, the oven doesn't work and April must canvass her neighbors in search of a substitute. with her family on the way form suburban Pennsylvania, recounting not exactly positive memories about April, and April knee-deep in the various idiosyncrasies of neighbors she has never spoken to before, the two narrative trains hurtle toward each other as we away the seemingly ineveitable collision.

Displaying the talent for writing characters and situations that stray form the norm that he showcased in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and About a Boy, Hedges has created a marvelously fun ride that takes unexpected turns and ends up in our hearts. With sensational cast -- Katie Holmes as April and Patricia Clarkson as her mother especially memorable -- this is another digital delight form the team that produced Tadpole.


Geoffrey Gilmore (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.