Monday, June 21, 2010


Review: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
4.5 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

The opening shot of the documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” is an unforgiving extreme close-up of Rivers' famous (and famously maintained) mug, which looks slightly alien, is still wrinkle-free at 75 and, for a few delicious seconds, is shown entirely without makeup. It's a totally arresting image, something you never knew you always wanted to see. Eye-opening and eye-grabbing, it's the perfect preview for what's to come in this surprisingly valuable film, shot over a year in the life of the loud-mouthed, trail-and-guns-blazing comedienne. Perhaps what's most surprising is how fully Rivers comes off as a real, live, flawed, scared, breathing, thinking, feeling person, since pop culture basically programmed us to believe she's just a plastic part of the media machine. “Piece of Work” aims to tackle that notion head-on, and does so from frame one.


1 comment:

desdemona said...

I’ve always admired Joan for her straight-forwardness, I think it’s one of the best qualities a person can possess. That being said, I have a new respect for the directors of Joan’s new documentary, since they approached their topic with the same unapologetic and direct touch. An excellent film, I definitely recommend it.