Thursday, 31 March 2011

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: DVD Review

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: DVD Review

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Released by Madman
Rating: M

A simply stunning doco about the stalwart of the American showbiz scene, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work follows the comedienne through one year of highs and lows of her life.
During that time, Joan tries to launch a stage play, get as much work as she can and generally seize every opportunity which presents itself - and then milk it for as much as she can.
A warts and all portrayal of how to deal with longevity in showbiz it may be, but what it's also is a fascinating look at how one woman continues to thrive within the industry.
We watch Joan take every chance to get her play off the ground and then see her slump catastrophically when it gets 3 star reviews - we view her apartment, with its opulence and magnificence; or as she says "how Marie Antoinette would have lived if she'd had money."
You can't help but want her to succeed or to empathise with this bastion of showbiz - but what you do get out of this is a cautionary tale of how ruthless the industry can be - however, given the amount of effort Joan puts in (filing cabinets full of jokes, trying out material over Obama), you just can't look away.
Highly recommended.
Extras: Commentary with Joan, Extra scenes, Q&A at Sundance and trailer.

Rating: 8/10

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