PIECES OF APRIL movie review by Renae L.

“Once, there was this day… this one day when… everyone realized they needed each other.” Katie Holmes says as the main character, April in Pieces of April, directed by Peter Hedges and produced by Gary Winick. This movie is the type of movie that is up lifting in a dark comedic way. This seemed like a realistic film; Meaning that this film has a documentary feel but it was fiction. The movements of the camera and the lighting and shots seemed as though the camera was there for the first time.

April Burns is the oldest of three children born to Jim and Joy Burns (Oliver Platt and Patricia Clarkson). April never got along with her mom and was always the guilty party of the family, while Beth (Alison Pill) and Timmy (John Gallagher Jr.) where the angels. Being that April obviously doesn’t like her family, she left their dwelling and moved to her own apartment, in a not so great neighborhood, aka, the ghetto. Her boyfriend Bobby (Derek Luke) lives with her and keeps her in line. April feels likes she needs to reconcile with her family so she invites them for Thanksgiving dinner. They decide to go so they pack up in the car, and pick up Grandma Dottie (Alice Drummond), in her nursing home. Joy is genuinely ill and is making this trip a lot harder than anyone would have liked it. April is trying to make this day the best but when the stove is broken, she has to reach out to the people around her. This story is a great representation of how the shy girl really just wants to fit in and things to go right for once.  

The movie is stimulating, though it was sort of slow moving. But once the movie set everything up, it moved faster and closed the doors that were open in the beginning of the movie. The action was very believable. When April is stressed about getting everything perfect for her family, you have sympathy for her because everyone has had to go though the pain and agony she did. The dialogue seemed like it was free form and whatever was said, happened. It really made the movie to the 4 out of 5 stars I give it.

The costumes that were used seemed as though April would really wear them, if she was a real person. All of the sets and backgrounds seemed like you were really in the ghetto, at the house of April’s parents, or even in the tightly packed car. The sound track is very effective too because depending on the action, the beat of the music is different but all the music was written by Stephin Merritt and was performed by multiple bands; The Magnetic Fields and The 6ths.

I think that teenager delinquents should watch this because it shows that there is good when all you do is try. You can always find something good in a bad situation. The movie is rate PG – 13 and for good reasons. Due to that, I don’t think younger children should see it because even if they do, the likeliness of them understanding is low. Also, I think that if you like documentary types of films you would like this movie, Pieces of April.


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