Already the most talked-about movie to bow at the Venice Film Festival — the world’s first return to a full-scale, physical movie celebration in months — is director Kornél Mundruczó’s English-language debut, hot acquisition title “Pieces of a Woman.” Written by the Hungarian director’s wife Kata Wéber, the film stars Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf as a Boston couple in crisis after the death of their child during a home birth gone wrong. Watch a first clip from the film below.
“Pieces of a Woman” is executive-produced by Martin Scorsese, and is currently seeking U.S. distribution. In a director’s statement courtesy of the Biennale, Mundruczó said, “Is it possible to survive if you have lost the one you loved the most? Where do you turn when you have nowhere to seemingly turn to? My wife and I wanted to share one of our most personal experiences with audiences through a story of an unborn child; with the faith that art can be the best medicine for pain. Are we going to be the same after a tragedy as we always were? Could we have partners in the free fall of grief? One’s world can feel upside down and so difficult to orient to. With ‘Pieces of a Woman,’ we wanted to form an authentic story about tragedy, and learning to live alongside that grief. Loss steps beyond the boundaries of understanding or control for all of us, but comes with the ability to be reborn.”
In his review for IndieWire, David Ehrlich wrote, “Watching ‘Pieces of a Woman,’ it’s obvious director Mundruczó and screenwriter Wéber — partners in real life who share a ‘film by’ credit here — know the answer to that first question all too well (the press notes indicate a personal loss of some kind, but remain understandably vague about the details). This is the kind of movie you don’t make unless you have to. If the filmmakers struggle to distill some version of their experience into a 125-minute drama that will resonate with people who haven’t felt such hurt firsthand, it’s certainly not for lack of trying.”
The Venice Film Festival runs through September 12.