Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Joan Rivers Movie:"A Piece of Work" (2010) ****

Last night a friend and I drove over to Ashland for a late showing of the movie "A Piece of Work." It was shown at one of the little theaters in the back of the Varsity Theater and there were only 4 people at this showing of the movie. Now I am not a big fan of Joan Rivers but went based upon the recommendation of Dennis Miller on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News. Miller called it the best movie of the summer. Now Dennis Miller is a fellow comedian so maybe he has a soft spot for Joan Rivers but he was correct on this one. Rivers at age 75 is driven to continue performing much as Bob Hope was. They just can't give up the stage. The movie was a year in the life of Joan Rivers and she gave a lot of access to the documentary crew. My favorite part were vidio clips of her on the old Jack Parr show the forerunner to the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.The documentary followed her from performance to performance in a schedule that would tire a much younger person. It was funny and sad all at the same time. No siting on the beach for her. A quote from Roger Ebert's review of the movie:

I think “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” is fascinating and has a lot of laughs in it. It's more than that. It's the portrait of a woman who will not accept defeat, who will not slow down, who must prove herself over and again. A brave and stubborn woman, smart as a whip, superbly skilled. You want to see what it looks like to rage, rage against the dying of the light? Joan Rivers will not go gentle into that good night.

To read the rest of Ebert's review click on the title for a link