7.1/10
19,097
181 user 132 critic

Pieces of April (2003)

Trailer
1:40 | Trailer
A wayward daughter invites her dying mother and the rest of her estranged family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

Director:

Peter Hedges

Writer:

Peter Hedges
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Katie Holmes ... April Burns
Derek Luke ... Bobby
Oliver Platt ... Jim Burns
Alison Pill ... Beth Burns
John Gallagher Jr. ... Timmy Burns
Patricia Clarkson ... Joy Burns
Alice Drummond ... Grandma Dottie
Vitali Baganov ... Half Asleep Man
Lillias White ... Evette
Isiah Whitlock Jr. ... Eugene
Adrian Martinez ... Man in Mohair Sweater
Susan Bruce Susan Bruce ... Tish
Jamari Richardson Jamari Richardson ... Boy on Bicycle
Leila Danette Leila Danette ... Woman in Stairwell
Stephen Chen Stephen Chen ... Lee Loung Tan
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Storyline

In a very poor zone of New York, April Burns and her boyfriend, the Afro-American Bobby, are preparing to receive April's family for thanksgiving dinner. While Bobby tries to borrow a suit for himself, April realizes that her stove is broken. She tries desperately to find a neighbor that can let her cook the turkey, since she does not want to fail (again) with her family. Meanwhile, in a suburb of Pennsylvania, her dysfunctional family is preparing to travel to New York. While driving, the relationship between the Burns and their black-sheep April is disclosed through the conversations between her father Jim, her resented mother Joy, her brother, her sister and her grandmother. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's the one in every family.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sensuality, drug content and images of nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

12 August 2004 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Pieces of April - Ein Tag mit April Burns See more »

Filming Locations:

Bear Mountain, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,422, 19 October 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,528,664

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$743,364
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the inspirations for the movie came from a story Peter Hedges had heard about a group of young adults who had "borrowed" an apartment so they could celebrate their first Thanksgiving in Manhattan together. The oven in the apartment did not work so they had to go door to door in the building, trying to find an oven in which to cook their turkey. See more »

Goofs

The camera Timmy is using is a modern Nikon autofocus SLR which has an electrically controlled self-timer that doesn't make any noise during operation. When April's mother, dad, grandmother and sister stop at the Christmas shop and at the very end of the movie the sound of an old manual self-timer is inserted in the sound track. See more »

Quotes

April Burns: Please give me my stupid fucking turkey!
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Crazy Credits

Properties and furniture courtesy of Jack Marcus Brodsky & Family. See more »

Connections

Referenced in All the Pieces Together (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

As You Turn to Go
(2000)
Written by Stephin Merritt
Performed by The 6ths
Courtesy of Merge Records
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User Reviews

I recommend the film for its true contribution to the American version of 'kitchen-sink' realism.
27 October 2003 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

My family Thanksgiving dinner is latent with chaos, a breath away from murder, on the edge of total misunderstanding. But we survive it and return another year because we don't know any better, or amnesia sets in, or these are the only people who will feast with us. Tim Hedges catches my family and others I am sure in 'Pieces of April,' a comedy in which Goth girl April and her black boyfriend invite her family from Jersey to their Manhattan apartment for Thanksgiving dinner.

Mom, played by the current middle-age rage, Patricia Clarkson ('Station Agent'), is dying from cancer, which allows her on the tumultuous ride with hubby and two other children to indulge in sardonic observations about her daughter's inability to do anything right, much less pull off a dinner, to comments about her lovers, including long-suffering dad (Oliver Platt), who patiently waits in horror for his wife to die.

Katie Holmes' April flies to almost every other apartment to find a working stove, but what she finds is a menagerie of tenants, most of whom like her don't know their way around a dinner, much less Thanksgiving. As she figures out how to cut an onion or carry a turkey, each one of us can remember the first time we learned those tricks, often when the family could enjoy the humiliation.

The HD filming adds a home-movie touch to the proceedings, which are all predictable because we have all been there. I recommend the film for its true contribution to the American version of 'kitchen-sink' realism and its evocation of thankfulness in all of us that our Thanksgivings were never this disastrous, just by a hair though!


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