Minkie Spiro’s “Pieces of Her” is now streaming on Netflix and offers up a delightful journey of mystery, enlightenment, and growth between mother and daughter to compel through its eight-episode run. Based on the novel from Karin Slaughter this story centers on Laura (Collette) a common suburban mom on a weekend lunch with her twenty something daughter Andy (Heathcote). When violence strikes their relationship will be changed forever as Andy realizes her mother, and her life are nothing like what she’s grown up thinking they are.
While this series delivers many quality elements the final result was a mixed bag. On the positive side were the performances front and center. Collette and Heathcote thrive in the lead with layered, multi-dimensional performances to capture the struggles and hurdles thrown at them as the story evolves. Collette showcases all the emotional layering of a troubled woman living a life she feels isn’t hers. Heathcote also shines as Andy experiences a lifetime’s worth of realizations in a short time. On their own each is able to carry bulks of the story progression, and when together sharing the scenery there is constant intrigue as the family drama kicks in.
The supporting cast fill the rest of the players with energy and charisma to round out the world of the story and those involved. Even the plotline itself is layered with appealing mystery while dishing out seeds of information with a methodical approach to keep the curiosity and intrigue at relatively high levels throughout the duration. This effectively weaves a narrative filled with evolving characters, ever changing relationships, and foundations of the past to keep viewer investment effectively locked in.
Now on the downside, this interesting and frequently engaging story was chopped up more than needed. This story could have been still as engrossing had the continuity been more seamless and smoother overall. The flashback approach is never a deal breaker when telling a complex story rich with history. But the writing here dips into that well too often. The flashbacks of what led up to the story’s events could have been longer and been less frequent. This would still allow doses of information to build mystery, while also thinning the back-and-forth advancement. And building more solidified connections to the main characters.
The result is an uneven pace with a few of the middle episodes feeling much slower than others. It’s a hindrance in places, but still doesn’t manage to overshadow the striking performance from Collette & Heathcote. This eight-episode run could’ve been more gripping with maybe only six. But for those in the mood for a layered, ever evolving mystery “Pieces of Her” is a very capable journey. It just has a few issues preventing it from being great.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.