4 stars because I felt like it really captured Joan both as a character and as a human being. However, as far as direction goes, it's just not aesthetically beautiful and I think it's all that's missing for this to be great.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. A zero bullshit documentary of the godmother of female comediennes that will instill respect from the viewer, whether you loved or hated Joan Rivers. On top of some some of her trademark biting comedy, A Piece of Work offers some great archival footage and a serious amount of vulnerability of its subject. Guaranteed to increase your appreciation of Rivers exponentially.
When the synopsis said that it would be a brutally honest glimpse into Rivers' struggle to keep fighting the stages, it never prepared me to what I was about to watch. This doc sure makes Joan Rivers look even more complex - a dark, twisted, fed up comedy diva that sure left us way too soon. The Comedy Central Roast event made me sick to my stomach - this is what true cinema is all about.
The woman is funny and witty as hell. I think it's admirable how she still thrives in pop culture, even after all these years, and is not willing to let others take her down. In a time and industry where beauty and youth determine pretty much everything she's truly swimming against the tide. I saw Miss Rivers for the first time in an episode of "Nip/Tuck" and I've been a fan of hers ever since.
Rarely has an artist's documentary mined its subject for so much. The film's depth and veracity may be subject but given the average viewer's preconceptions of Joan Rivers, it's hard not to come away from A Piece of Work without a fresh view of the comedienne. A revelatory, hilarious and hard-earned character study. Well worth your time.
One of the most surprising and engrossing character-study docs in recent memory. A candid portrait of the complex persona Rivers has crafted for herself over the years, it’s fascinating - and sometimes heartbreaking - to watch her struggle to keep her own flame alive. Highly recommended.
A straight-forward but completely engrossing documentary about the legendary comedian that reveals far greater depths than one might initially suspect. The film works because Rivers is willing to be as upfront and open as she can be, revealing the history behind her marriage and husband's death as well as her inherent desire to be constantly at play. It's the little moments that show the real human behind the facade.