Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work
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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work takes the audience on a year long ride with legendary comedian Joan Rivers in her 76th year of life. Peeling away the mask of an iconic comedian and exposing the struggles, sacrifices and joy of living life as a ground breaking female performer. The film is an emotionally surprising and revealing portrait of one the most hilarious and long-standing career women ever in the business. (IFC Films)
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Top customer reviews
This documentary brings up a lot of interesting things. For one, she says that no man had ever told her she was beautiful, not even her husband. She had a good marriage but he never said she was beautiful.
She says that she was never anyone's first pick for anything in her life – always seconds. I find this inspirational because, despite never being "chosen" first, she accepted the offers and showed the world who she was. She didn't feel pretty, she didn't feel first, but she used what she had (a lot of smarts) and made lemonade out of the lemons. Big time. I always thought she was very attractive and had a lot of style.
There are parts of this film that made me want to cry. She says at one point in the film that any time a car showed up for her to take her somewhere, she always said thank you and felt gratitude for what she was given in life. That is a poignant moment in the film. Joan was an extremely generous person and cared for everyone who came into her life. She paid her staff excellent salaries, put all of their children through school (including college) and covered all of their healthcare. Even after her death, Melissa is still taking care of these people, per Joan's wishes. She was a great lady.
Melissa appears in the documentary but more briefly than expected. It is important to note that Joan raised a daughter who also embraces the same values and continues her mother's legacy. Between this documentary and the series, Joan and Melissa, I think you get a good picture of the kind of person Joan was, behind all of the jokes and gags.
Joan was a rare celebrity who actually remembered from whence she came. She didn't have to die when she did. What a travesty.
Before leaving the airport, we had a lay-over, and Joan shopped alone in some of the stores in the terminal, dressed to the nines, hair perfectly coiffed and absolutely charming and gracious to everyone from the shop clerk to the janitor waxing the floors. The DVD is inspirational for the way to treat others. Joan truly does practice this even off camera,
Thank you, Joan. You're not only a comedy icon, you are a deep and thoughtful person, and it's my pleasure to get to know you.
"Can we talk?"... As Joan Rivers takes the stage in her own docudrama, you are immediately drawn into her private conversations. She boldly starts confronting the issues presented in her life; the comedy and love of performance that defined her while she stared at the empty spaces on her calendar's booking schedule. With an unshakable drive and a heavy focus on staying on top, Ms. Rivers gets right back into the game without batting an eye.
She is discussing her life here, letting us know how she got her big break. That vehicle was 'The Tonight Show' Starring Johnny Carson. She took the opportunity to blow away the audience with new and fresh comedy and a special intention towards women and issues that mainly went unsaid, until then. She was brazen, honest, acerbic and so extremely funny that Carson promised her that she will "Be a star". Her injected pieces of stand-up bits are unapologetically raw, irreverent and hysterical...I have viewed this so often and still find something even bolder than the previous time.
"All stand-ups are innately insecure" adds her daughter, Melissa, to this discussion. Joan got down to the real nitty-gritty here and completely targeted her own emotional vulnerability. The issue is her husband's suicide, the crushing pain she was obviously still carrying, and her relationship with Melissa through all of this. When asked if she is angry, she counters, "If you're not angry about things then what are you talking about?".
The ambitious workhorse that was Ms. Rivers would not tire. The pacing of the documentary and her own life is consuming as she takes on a city after another city and a gig after another gig. Joan asks for no apologies either, as another show is what drove her.
Altogether shocking, altogether real, altogether Joan's "Piece of Work"...
A true trailblazer; she will never be replaced nor forgotten.