Netflix has swept up a worldwide distribution deal for the resonant festival drama “Pieces of a Woman,” lauded for its leading performances from Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf.
The harrowing drama about a couple struggling after a failed home birth is the English-language debut of Hungarian filmmaker Kornél Mundruczó. Directed from a script by Kata Wéber, Variety critic Peter DeBruge hailed the film as the performance of Kirby’s career thus far.
“As a European filmmaker, I couldn’t be more excited and appreciative of finding my home for this film with Netflix. Their taste in independent cinema feels like the United Artists of the 1970s. The true champions of filmmakers and original voices for today,” Mundruczó said in a statement.
Kirby took the Best Actress Volpi Cup at the Saturday awards ceremony for this year’s Venice Film Festival. CAA Media Finance and BRON Studios brokered the deal on behalf of filmmakers. Kirby and LaBeouf star alongside Molly Parker, Sarah Snook, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Jimmie Falls and Ellen Burstyn.
In an eloquent and emotional speech, Kirby thanked producers for “taking a chance on me in my first lead role in a film, and for trusting me.” In addition, she said she hopes the film “may encourage conversation and support around the women, families and fathers who have lost” children.
“I was emotionally invested in it from the first scene, and the experience only intensified as I watched, spellbound by the filmmaking and the work of a splendid cast that includes my old colleague Ellen Burstyn,” executive producer Martin Scorsese said of the film. “You feel as if you’ve been dropped into the vortex of a family crisis and moral conflict with all its nuances, drawn out with care and compassion but without judgement
Kirby plays a young mother whose best laid plans for natural childbirth go awry. She and her salt-of-the-earth husband LaBeouf attempt to grieve in the orbit of her mother and midwife. Mundruczó previously directed “White God,” winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard Award from Cannes in 2014.
Additional executive producers include Sam Levinson, Stuart Manashil, Viktoria Petranyi, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell, Suarj Maraboyina for Creative Wealth Media, Aaron Gilbert for BRON Studios, and Steven Thibault.
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