Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work


"Flamboyant exhibitionism and stoic masochism have rarely been more visibly wired together in a performer’s dynamo than in this funny, complex portrait, onstage and off, of comedian Joan Rivers. No celebrity flunkies, filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg spent a year – her 75th – filming the doyenne of bad-mouthed women’s stand-up. She begins the movie so out of work she claims she’d knock out her own teeth to be cast in a denture ad. We watch as she fills up a blank appointment book and has a ball. But observe her sang froid the morning after an adoring audience have lapped up her show, as she has her assistant spell out every withering review: you might learn a lot about cruelty and pain, guts and survival in showbiz." (New Zealand International Film Festival 2010)

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The Peoples' Reviews

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A really good documentary, looking into the life of comedienne Joan Rivers. Laugh-out-loud moments. Well worth seeing.

The Press Reviews

  • Fascinating and has a lot of laughs in it. Full Review

  • A highly entertaining documentary revealing a serious talent behind the one-note present-day reputation. Full Review

  • She is by turns blue, bitter, hilarious, unbroken; a Hollywood-style portrait in infinite ambition. In that role, Rivers is unforgettable. Full Review

  • This convulsively funny movie takes an up-close and sometimes queasy-personal approach to its motormouth subject, who, when she's not making you howl with laughter (or freeze up in horror), brandishes her deeply held hurts, fears, prejudices, poor judgment and bad taste as if they were stigmata. Full Review

  • There's not a timid, sympathy-begging minute in it. Even better, you leave Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work with the exhilarating feeling that the lady is just hitting her stride. Full Review

  • Mixing hilarious standup footage with admiring if not exactly cuddlesome behind-the-scenes glimpses. Full Review