Katie Holmes has come a long way. With a movie like Pieces of April, the days of Dawson’s Creek are sure to be in the past.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Hedges (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, About A Boy), in his directorial debut, takes the real-life death of his mother and creates a film nothing short of extraordinary.
Katie Holmes plays free-spirited April Burns. Estranged from her family for years, April apprehensively invites the bunch to her shabby New York apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.
With hopes of a lovely gathering, the preparation before dinner becomes both overwhelming and catastrophic.
The film takes us through the hours before the family’s arrival. April finds herself without an oven to cook the turkey, while her family tries to find every excuse to turn the car around on the long drive to New York. That’s only the beginning.
What is wonderful about Pieces of April is that it is possibly the most realistic cinematic portrayal about family. It’s a movie about the many words we fail to say and the many opportunities that we watch pass us by.
And then finding a way to repair those wounds before time runs out for good.
Katie Holmes really shines in this film. Patricia Clarkson hits home as April’s terminally-ill mother, who portrays herself and her illness with a refreshingly truthful sense of humor. Oliver Platt, Derek Luke and Sean Hayes also co-star.
This is an uplifting tale that everyone should see. Anyone who has a heart will love Pieces of April.
Kevin Nolty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org