One of Netflix's most anticipated features of this year was the drama Pieces Of A Woman. The film is expected to be a major award contender for lead actress Vanessa Kirby, who plays a woman coping with the death of her unborn child as the incident goes on to affect her marriage and life as a whole. It's an intensely acted human drama that delves deep into its gut-wrenching exploration of coping with grief.
However, even if Kirby is gaining all the raves for her intense portrayal of human grief, the film also features a diverse cast including acting veterans like Ellen Burstyn and occasional actors like Benny Safdie.
8 Vanessa Kirby (Martha)
In Pieces of a Woman, Vanessa Kirby stars as the protagonist Martha, a Boston-based executive who goes through the degradation of her marriage following a personal tragedy. When it comes to tussles around marriage, Netflix audiences would recognize Kirby as Princess Margaret in the first two seasons of The Crown. Kirby plays Queen Elizabeth II's sister, a self-confident and outspoken personality who carries a mean streak with her royal family.
The actress has also been associated with big-budget Hollywood productions like Mission: Impossible Fallout, and the Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw. In the former, she plays a black-market arms dealer while in the latter, she appears as Deckard Shaw's (Jason Statham) sister. Her other supporting appearances include in films like About Time, Everest, and Me Before You.
7 Ellen Burstyn (Elizabeth)
Ellen Burstyn has a small yet impactful role in Pieces of a Woman as Martha's mother. Even though her recent film roles are rare, Burstyn has been a highly celebrated actress in her time. In terms of her legacy, her most popular role would be that of Chris MacNeil in The Exorcist. Her portrayal of a highly-concerned mother trying her best to free her daughter from demonic possession is widely regarded as one of the best horror performances.
She went on to play complicated characters in dramas and her career in the 21st century resurged with a haunting portrayal of a lonely drug-addicted woman in Requiem For A Dream. She has also had a diverse career in TV with her most recent roles being that of Elizabeth Hale in House of Cards, and Shirley Stabler in Mom.
6 Molly Parker (Eva)
Actress, writer, and director Molly Parker appears as Eva, Martha's midwife who's taken to court for the miscarriage. Parker is popularly known for playing Maureen Robinson in the Netflix sci-fi series Lost In Space. Her character is a professor with a Ph.D. in engineering and an aerospace engineer who uses her skills to escape an unknown planet where she and her family crashes.
Like Ellen Burstyn, Molly Parker also guest-starred in House of Cards, as Jacqueline Sharp. In the 2000s, she starred as Alma Garret in the HBO Western series Deadwood. Other film appearances include the Netflix horror/drama 1922, the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man, and Ewan McGregor's directorial debut American Pastoral.
5 Sarah Snook (Suzanne)
The Succession star has appeared in a wide range of films including Steve Jobs, and The Dressmaker. Her most prominent film role might arguably be that of Jane in the time-travel thriller Predestination.
She has gained further acclaim in HBO's Succession as Siobhan (Shiv) Roy, the highly ambitious daughter of business tycoon Logan Roy. She earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress for the show's second season. Last year, she appeared in a supporting role in An American Pickle, where she plays an Eastern European Jewish immigrant in the early 20th century. She joins the Pieces of a Woman ensemble as Suzanne, an attorney working on the case against Eva, who also indulges in an affair with Martha's husband.
4 Iliza Shlesinger (Anita)
Apart from her acting, Iliza Shlesinger is mostly known for her stint as a stand-up comedian, after winning the 2008 edition of Last Comic Standing. She has also made a name for herself as a game show host, having hosted the dating show Excused, and the game show Separation Anxiety, followed by her own talk show Truth & Iliza. Additionally, she has also had five comedy specials for Netflix. In Pieces of a Woman, she plays Martha's sister.
In her limited film appearances, she had a role in the 2018 comedy Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. She reunited with Wahlberg in 2020 in the Netflix action-comedy Spenser Confidential, in which she plays Cissy Davis, the titular Spenser's ex-girlfriend who helps him in his pursuit of criminals.
3 Benny Safdie (Chris)
Benny Safdie has also edited the two films, sharing an acting credit in Good Time. He stars as Nick Nikas, the lead character's (Robert Pattinson) brother who gets arrested during a botched bank robbery. In Pieces of a Woman, he appears as Chris, Martha's brother-in-law who works at a car dealership.
2 Jimmie Fails (Max)
Jimmie Fails has had just one major screen credit as the titular role in The Last Black Man in San Francisco but this screen debut was enough for him to garner universal acclaim. Distributed by A24, the film's story was conceived by Fails as well as director Joe Talbot.
Fails stars as a man who needs to reclaim his childhood home that has now undergone a metamorphosis to an expensive Victorian house in a gentrified neighborhood in San Francisco. The role was written as a semi-autobiographical version of himself. Fails features as Max, one of Martha's co-workers In Pieces of a Woman.
1 Shia LaBeouf (Sean)
Shia LaBeouf stars as Martha's husband, Sean Carson. A construction worker from Boston, he's a hot-headed husband who goes through turbulent emotions and falls into depression following his wife's tragic home birth. While LaBeouf brings raw intensity on screen, his off-screen personality received flak around the film's release (due to allegations of sexual battery and assault) causing Netflix to remove his name from consideration for awards season.
LaBeouf gained fame early in his life as the lead in Even Stevens, followed by roles in major films like the first three Transformers films, the war drama Fury, the sports biopic Borg v McEnroe, and the coming-of-age drama Honey Boy that was inspired by his real life.
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Shaurya Thapa (238 Articles Published)
Hailing from and based in India, Shaurya Thapa harbors interests in freelance journalism, cultural diversity, and critical analyses on films and TV of varied genres.