Joan Rivers – A Piece Of Work

Although not exactly packed to the rafters, the smaller upstairs screening room at the Chauvel Cinema was reasonably full at today’s screening of the film, “Joan Rivers – A Piece Of Work”. As with the likes of Cher, Liza Minelli and so on, the gays and the greys were out in force on a wet autumn day in Sydney.

I’ve been a fan of Joan Rivers ever since I bought that wonderful album (yes it was vinyl back then), “What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?” back in the early 1980s. She was foul mouthed, outrageous, and hilariously funny. Twenty-five years later, when Colin and I saw her at The Enmore Theatre, she was still funny then. Still shocking.

And she is in this film too. In fact, there are a couple of moments when the whole audience screamed with laughter, as scenes from stage performances feature throughout the film. In essence, though, it’s a documentary about a year in her life, a year in which she does everything from appear in a play at The Edinburgh Festival, win Celebrity Apprentice, and ditch her manager,

Although it’s a bit of a cliche, it really is a “warts and all” kind of film. There are moments in the film where she doesn’t come off well. Moments where you think she needs to take a pill and relax. Moments where you think she needs to be more mindful of those around her. And yet, she also comes across as wonderfully giving – caring for her staff and their families – and as someone you quite admire, because she continues to be motivated to work hard, and to be ahead of the game. For a celebrity biography it’s refreshingly honest, as she admits to her frailties, concedes she’s seen as a bit of a showbiz plastic surgery freak, and worries openly about her career and the blank pages in her diary.

We both LOVED the film. I think it’s the kind of film I’d like to buy on DVD and watch again and again.

  1. This is a wonderfully astute analysis. You have to respect the honesty in which both the filmmakers and Joan Rivers approached this project. Seemingly it avoids coming across as pretentious and self-serving, and that’s admirable.
    Emmanuel S.

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    Reply

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