Reading Violet's post about a large turkey reminded me of a DVD I hired months ago and watched with a couple of friends. Pieces of April is set on the American Thanksgiving holiday, explaining my turkey segue, and is about a very dysfunctional family coming together for a meal.
Katie Holmes is the black sheep of the family, who lives in New York, and is hosting the dinner. The film follows her trials of preparing the meal; the trauma of cooking the turkey, in four different ovens, and relying on the kindness of her neighbours to get her meal completed; and the road trip of April's family and their reluctance to see, or be involved in her life.
Filmed documentary-style, Pieces of April is an independent film that could only have succeeded in this . Filmed with a digital camera the grittiness of the neighbourhood seems tangible, and the apartment building appeared more cramped. I enjoyed the twists on stereotypes, and the part April's boyfriend Bobby had to play. Oliver Platt is good as usual, but it is Patricia Clarkson who shines as April's dying mother Joy.
For me, it was the simple everyday raw emotions and situations that made this film so entertaining. Each character had something to relate to and I could completely relate to the unwilling journey to visit some family member no one wanted to see. A good movie to remind us that kindness is it's own reward.