PIECES OF HER on Netflix is a mystery thriller series starring Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote as mother and daughter. It starts out really strong, but eight episodes drag the story out too much. Read our full Pieces of Her series review here!
PIECES OF HER is a new Netflix mystery thriller series based on the novel by author Karin Slaughter. I haven’t read this particular novel of hers, so I can’t say if it’s a very direct adaption or not. What I can say, is that after a very strong beginning, I was excited to continue watching.
However, this limited series has a total of eight 45-minute episodes and that’s too much. At least, I felt it took out a lot of momentum. This feeling began with episode 3, which was a surprise since I really enjoyed the first two episodes. It’s still good enough to keep watching, but the lull in pacing gets irritating.
Continue reading our Pieces of Her series review below and find all 8 episodes on Netflix from March 4, 2022.
Toni Collette and Bella Heathcote star
Look, for me, there’s no getting around the fact that whenever Toni Collette is part of anything, I will want to watch it. From Muriel’s Wedding (1994) to The Sixth Sense (1999) to Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Hereditary (2018), this woman is a powerhouse.
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She can do anything and I love her in everything. And yes, I will forever be bitter that she wasn’t nominated for all the awards for Hereditary.
Can you believe she has only been nominated for an Academy Award once? This was for “Best Actress in Supporting Role” for The Sixth Sense in 2000. So more than 20 years ago. You’d think she hadn’t continued to shine, which she clearly has!
Having gotten that little tidbit out of my system, let me be quick to add that Toni Collette is (yet again) amazing in Pieces of Her. The same goes for Bella Heathcote (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) who plays her daughter in this series. If you haven’t watched the horror movie Relic (2020) starring Bella Heathcote, then please do.
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These two Australian actors work really well as a mother and daughter, who has quite a few issues in their relations. But also a lot of love. Obviously, their relationship continues to strain as Andy (Bella Heathcote) comes to realize that she really doesn’t know her mother. Or rather, her mother’s past and its secrets.
The plot is in the title
The title Pieces of Her is basically also the plot. Andy (Bella Heathcote) finds pieces of who her mother (Toni Collette) really is, which means we also get to know her past. The young version of Collette’s character is played by Jessica Barden (Penny Dreadful) who is yet another brilliant young talent.
While the production value is very high and the actors deliver wonderful performances, the quality of the storyline does vary quite a lot. From the very strong episodes 1 and 2 on to several much slower episodes. I can’t help but think that this Netflix series would have improved from having had just six episodes.
I enjoy the journey of discovering who this main character really is – and all the secrets she has kept. However, I also feel like you get so many clues that you’re rarely surprised when something is later “revealed”. Also, Andy (Heathcote) is forced to make many rather silly choices to have the story evolve in this way.
Again, I have not read the book, so maybe it’s directly from there. Then again, that’s the art of adapting something to the screen; Not all things written can be shown as effectively.
Watch Pieces of Her on Netflix
Minkie Spiro is the director of all the episodes in this limited Netflix series. Her previous series directing credits are extremely impressive, so she definitely knows her craft. She has directed on series such as The Plot Against America (HBO), Fosse/Verdon (FX), Downton Abbey (ITV/PBS), and the awesome Dead to Me (Netflix).
So, pretty much, she has worked with all kinds of genres. Something Pieces of Her also benefits from since it deals with crime, mystery, thriller, and drama. Plus, we do get some dark humor thrown in there to keep things moving along in a light way at times.
No matter the issues I had with how the story evolved, the core plot and cast are more than enough reason to keep watching. I just hoped for more – both before I began watching and after the first couple of episodes. So do check it out, when all 8 episodes (each around 45 minutes in runtime) are released on Netflix.
Pieces of Her is out on Netflix with all eight episodes from March 4, 2022.
Director: Minkie Spiro
Writer/Showrunner/Executive Producer: Charlotte Stoudt
Executive Producers: Bruna Papandrea, Steve Hutensky, Casey Haver, Karin Slaughter, Janice Williams, Minkie Spiro, Lesli Linka Glatter
Cast: Toni Collette, Bella Heathcote, Jessica Barden, David Wenham, Joe Dempsie, Jacob Scipio, Omari Hardwick
In a sleepy Georgia town, a random act of violence sets off an unexpected chain of events for 30-year-old Andy Oliver and her mother Laura. Desperate for answers, Andy embarks on a dangerous journey across America, drawing her towards the dark, hidden heart of her family.