Having to deal with the loss of a child, ESPECIALLY during the birthing process is an agonizing revelation to carry for the parents but not so much as traumatizing as it is to the mother. “Pieces Of A Woman” brought me back to just how traumatizing and depressing that reality really is; a well-constructed, densely layered, subtle deconstruction of naturalism through the lenses of a crushed spirit looking for hope and desperate to cope, not perpetuate this cycle of depression.
The film, after that lock-jawed 30 minute opening, spends its time showing the aftermath of the carnage and how deeply the loss deteriorates our main character and everyone that surrounds her; a raw and unfiltered direction that, while not nearly as gut-wrenching and powerful as the first half hour, still succeeds in painting a lamenting picture where the emotional complexity within each and every scene is only strengthened by the long uninterrupted takes, which showcases impeccable directing, blocking and acting (Vanessa Kirby and Shia Lebeouf being the most powerful). While the pacing can definitely drag the film out to a hollowing degree, similar to The Devil All The Time, there’s a method to the madness as to why this film is structured the way it is; spending most of its time dissecting the multitude of cavernous silences and the unimaginable grief that resonates from that silence.
I think the main reason why I related to this movie so much is that my sister went through an eerily similar situation: she got pregnant but then miscarried and lost the baby. The situations are nearly worlds apart but the feeling still burns just the same.....and even in loss, even in death..... there is still hope to be found.