10 Fragmented Pieces Of Grief, Loss & Healing
Pieces Of A Woman is all about grief, despair and struggling to cope with loss. They’re heavy themes no doubt and despite stagnating a little during the middle portion of its run-time, this movie is undeniably a good watch.
If you’ve finished streaming this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top picks for alternate viewing.
So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching Pieces Of A Woman.
It would be very easy to write Pixar’s Up off as another film for kids with a feel-good message. At its core though Up is a movie about loss and how to deal with one’s grief, seeking out happiness again in a bleak, inhospitable world.
After one of the best opening scenes from any movie released in quite some time, 78 year old Carl Fredricksen decides to fulfill his life-long wish to his wife by traveling to Paradise Falls. Armed with his house equipped with balloons, Carl accidentally brings along an enthusiastic young scout called Russell as they fly to South America together.
While the film has its fair share of fantastical elements and a dollop of humour, its poignant themes are enough to make this an easy one to recommend.
Manchester By The Sea
Sprinkled with bursts of dry humour and told through recurring flashbacks, this slow-paced, emotional, character-driven drama is a stunning piece of cinema that absolutely deserves its critical acclaim.
Reeling from a great loss in his life, the story centers on Lee Chandler who finds further misery piled on his sinking shoulders when his brother dies, making him the sole guardian to his nephew Patrick.
The film then follows Lee’s struggle to adapt to this new life forced upon him. A shell of the man he once was, Lee struggles to move on while numerous flashbacks paint a portrait of exactly what happened to make him this way. Poignant, heartbreaking and oftentimes shocking, Manchester By The Sea is a great film.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Set just under a year since her child was killed, a frustrated Mildred is at her wit’s end when the police run out of leads to pursue. Instead, she takes the law into her own hands and erects three billboards on a prominent stretch of road. In doing so, she points a finger at the ineptitude of the police department.
Three Billboards is an interesting and oftentimes emotional exploration into grief, anger and justice. These themes run strongly throughout the show and each character has a good amount of development too. This is certainly one of the newer movies on this list and a worthy inclusion at that. The ending is open to interpretation but given the artistic approach to this movie, it actually works pretty well to round out the story.
PS I Love You
PS I love You was panned pretty hard by critics when it originally released. Billed as a romantic comedy, PS I Love You is a film that’s classified in the complete wrong genre. Don’t let the critic reviews sway you though, PS I Love You is a heartbreaking, poignant drama that doesn’t let up for the entirety of its run-time.
The story here revolves around a young widow called Holly who loses her husband and finds it hard to move on with her life. However, she soon discovers that her late husband Gerry left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and move past the heartbreak and trauma of her loss.
With each letter comes a re-opening of a wound before it’s painfully closed back up again. This inevitably brings with it a whole host of tears so do be prepared for that before going in. As a movie about grief and dealing with loss though, PS I Love You hits all the right notes.
We Bought A Zoo
If you’re looking for something a little lighter than the others on this list, We Bought A Zoo is a good option. Set in Southern California, the film’s storyline revolves around a heartbroken but hopeful Father called Benjamin Mee. When he purchases a dilapidated zoo and moves his family out to the countryside, Benjamin takes on the challenge of preparing the place for its reopening to the public.
Well written, moving and tonally on-point, We Bought A Zoo is as much a film about acceptance and moving on as it is about family values and hard work. While it is a little slow out the gates, the second half of this movie more than makes up for that. You’ll be glad you stuck it out with this one.
Out of all the films on this list, Rabbit Hole is likely to be the one that’s most alike to Pieces Of A Woman. The plot line tackles the same subject too, as a young couple (Becca and Howie) struggle to deal with their emotions when tragedy strikes their child.
As grief consumes them both, a wedge in their marriage widens and threatens to spill over into a break-up at any moment. On the one hand, Becca wants to be rid of everything that reminds her of her son while on the other, husband Howie wants to hold onto everything, unwilling to let go.
This conflict soon expands and encapsulates several other characters before climaxing into a thought provoking final act. What’s particularly striking here though is how accurately the idea of grief is portrayed on the big screen. There’s a lot of dramatic and poignant moments, making it a must watch.
Things We Lost In The Fire
Things We Lost In The Fire is another hard hitting and moving film. The story’s themes predominantly revolve around grief and recovery, typified by the film’s central two characters.
When good husband and loving Father Brian passes away, Brian’s wife Audrey and her child are left to pick up the pieces of their life. Helping them do so is a junkie and Brian’s boyhood friend, Jerry. In return, Audrey tries to help Jerry give up the drugs that are currently crippling him.
The story takes place a day after Brian’s funeral, with Brian himself appearing in flashbacks. The fire mentioned in the film’s title is significant to the main plot but we won’t divulge any spoilers. This film is definitely worth checking out.
Three Colours: Blue
Three Colours: Blue is the first part of a trilogy of films based on France’s national motto: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
Blue centers on the Liberty part of that Motto, with a wonderfully artistic 1993 art-house drama. It’s a film that absolutely nails the feeling of grief but does so through incredible use of imagery, symbolism and sound design.
For those unaware, the story here revolves around a woman named Julie who struggles to find a way to live her life after the death of her husband and child. It’s obviously a harrowing incident and one that sees Julie throw away the pieces of her old life and decide to try and start anew…until something draws her back.
Beautiful, striking and well written, Three Colours: Blue is definitely one of the better films tackling grief.
Atonement is arguably one of the best book adaptations portrayed on the big screen. It’s incredibly faithful to the source material and revolves around a 13 year old fledgling writer called Briony Tallis. When she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime he didn’t commit, she irrevocably changes the course of several lives.
Poignant, dark and incredibly touching, Atonement is one of those films that sticks with you long after you’ve finished watching it. Be warned though, there’s some pretty shocking scenes in this but each are masterfully edited into the main plot line to emulate a series of gut punches. This one is definitely worth checking out.
Big Fish is a film about a boy called Will Bloom and his estranged relationship with his Father, Edward. Fed up with Edward’s larger-than-life fantastical tales, Will falls out with his Father on the eve of his Wedding.
When Edward learns he’s going to die soon, Will returns to try and reconcile with his Dad, attempting to separate fact from fiction.
The film works incredibly well as a fantastical journey in its own right, with Tim Burton’s restraint working wonders to produce a larger-than-life world mirroring our own.
Be prepared to go in with a pack of tissues with this one though – the ending is one that’ll undoubtedly have you weeping.
So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching Pieces Of A Woman on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!