Pieces of a woman begin with a beautiful long shot of Martha (Vanessa Kirby) going into labour. The scene shows the franticness of giving birth, the improvision, the waiting, and the fear of something going wrong. It is this scene that will make you invested in the story of Martha and Sean, as you see the couple giving each other support during such a vulnerable time. It will be especially painful if you knew what this movie was about- if you’ve seen the trailer, as you watch the couple going through the labour knowing the result.
The movie truly starts after this scene, as we watch the couple Martha and Sean’s attempt at going on with their lives- each with their own way of processing the difficult event. Sean tries to get their lives back to the before times, Martha found herself unable and unwilling to accept anyone’s help. It gets worse as Martha’s family gets into the mix, as her mother tries to get them to sue the midwife, a plotline I didn’t find very interesting. In the end, however, the movie manages to tie everything together.
Although the movie never quite hits the emotional peak that is the scene of Martha’s labour, Vanessa Kirby’s wonderful performance makes this a must watch.