Rated: R
Release Date: 01/08/2021
Production Company: Netflix

Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Molly Parker, Sarah Snook, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Jimmie Fails and Ellen Burstyn.

Director: Kornel Mundruczo. Producers: Paul Barbeau, Morten Bugge, Ashley Levinson, Aaron Ryder and Kevin Turen. Executive Producers: Jason Cloth, Aaron L. Gilbert, Harrison Kreiss, Cheryl Leib, Sam Levinson, Stuart Manashil, Suraj Maraboyina, Richard McConnell, Rolf Pedersen, Victoria Petranyl Martin Scorsese, Adam Somer, Andria Spring, Steven Thibault and Katia Washington. Screenwriters: Ansuman Bhagat and Kate Weber. Cinematographer: Benjamin Loeb.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Netflix has been cranking out some excellent movies lately. "Pieces of a Woman" is their latest one and it's a stunning drama directed by Kornel Mundruczo (Jupiter's Moon").

Vanessa Kirby ( "Mission: Impossible 7&8" and Netflix's "The Crown") and Shia LaBeouf ("The Peanut Butter Falcon") play a married couple living in Boston who are expecting their first child.

Sean (LaBeouf), a construction worker and Martha (Kirby) are thrilled at becoming new parents. Martha's overprotective, yet well-intentioned mother Elizabeth (a superb Ellen Burstyn, ÔÇťAmerican Woman" ) is very much in their lives. She even buys them a used minivan to help get their family adventure rolling.

Martha and Sean have their moments, but both believe the baby will bring them closer together. Martha has opted to have a home birth, although her mother wishes she'd have the baby at a hospital. She just feels it's safer and isn't crazy about home births.

Just when Martha settles down for the evening, she becomes really dizzy and starts having contractions and she gets sicker. Sean calls the midwife they hired but is told that she's not available and is taking care of another emergency delivery. So, they get a replacement midwife named Eva (Molly Parker, "Words on Bathroom Walls") who is calm, professional and seems to know what she's doing until Martha becomes sick and is screaming in pain. This labor scene is incredibly intense and was filmed in one long take.

It's not long before Eva, who was once calm and collected, starts to panic when the baby is born but within seconds of Martha holding their baby girl, she turns blue and suddenly stops breathing. Sean and Martha are looking at Eva wondering why she isn't doing more.

Even worse, they find out information about Eva's dark past and it nearly destroys their marriage. Sean is a wreck and is back to drinking and smoking again. Martha just seems numb to the world.

Her mother insists she fight back and take Eva to court. When they do, it becomes a local and national news story. It takes everything for Martha to continue with her life, but she finds the courage to tackle the issue head on, and in a stunning turn of events she's able to put back the pieces of her life and move forward.

"Pieces of a Woman" is a real heart-breaking movie and quite the showcase for Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, and Ellen Burstyn. They are simply sensational in it.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "PIECES OF A WOMAN"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics' Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 2020
Running Time: 94
Production Company: Paramount
Director: Arthur A. Seidelman
Director of Photography: Hanania Baer
Screenwriter: Mark McClafferty, Clint Smith, Mark E. Corry, Lin Marlin and Sam Egan
Author: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: There are a handful of Christmas movies that I absolutely must watch the week before Christmas.

They include: "The Preacher's Wife," with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. It's a remake of the 1947 film, "The Bishop's Wife" starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

Then there's of course, "It's a Wonderful Life," followed by "Frosty the Snowman," Rudolph...
Prior to his TV and film career, Michael Warren was a standout basketball player for which of the following colleges?
San Francisco State University--Gators
University California, Los Angeles--Bruins
Cal State University San Bernardino--Coyotes
University of San Francisco--Dons