Trying to rest my surgically repaired eyes, I caught "Pieces of April" the other day on some obscure cable channel.
I remembered the hoopla about the film when it came out, and that Patricia Clarkson had been nominated for an Academy Award.
Peter Hedges' indie-conscious film is endearing, if a bit too quirky. As an incurable New York City romantic, I loved the views of the early 21st century city, still tender from Sept. 11 and not yet ruined by real estate pirates.
As the long-married, life-battered middle aged couple, Oliver Platt and Clarkson delivered their barbed, loving dialogue with exquisite chemistry. The young John Gallagher, whom I later liked as an earnest reporter on the HBO show "Newsroom," stood out as the bright adolescent son seeking to cover his sadness with mawkish irony. I even could tolerate the usually insufferable Alison Pill as the smart-aleck daughter.
The biggest revelation was Katie Holmes as April, the couple's estranged daughter who lives in a grimy New York City neighborhood. I read it was the Lower East Side, but in the movie, I heard a reference to 168th Street, which would make it Harlem.
I fell in love with April, with her dyed red hair, beautiful eyes, innocent/hip persona and punk clothes that somehow accented her smoldering sexuality. I never knew anything about Katie Holmes except that she'd married Tom Cruise, had a baby, and split from the Scientology-addled movie doll.
Katie Holmes has talent. What a revelation.