Blu-ray Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray 6994065),
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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work [Blu-ray]
Region 1 USA/CA (
Joan Rivers launched her career as a standup comic in the early '60s, a time when female comedians were few and far between, and after several years of working nightclubs to unresponsive audiences, she was booked on THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON in 1965 and soon became one of the most successful comedy acts in the nation. Since then, Rivers has hosted several TV talk shows, written best-selling books, directed a feature film, launched a line of jewelry, and kept up a busy schedule of personal appearances, determined to hold on to her stardom regardless of the fickle winds of show business. Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg followed Rivers through a typically eventful year in her life, and in JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, they offer a look at the woman behind the laughter as she struggles to stay in the spotlight, works on new material, launches a one-woman show in the United Kingdom that doesn't fare as well as she hopes, takes a chance as a participant on a reality TV show, and ponders her career in show business at the age of 75. JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
"[B]awdy and surprisingly trenchant....Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg have managed to capture the 'Can we talk?' comic in all her funny fury."
Los Angeles Times
"[A] convulsively funny movie....When she stands on the stage, it's as if she had tapped right into her id."
New York Times
"[A] stirring portrait of indomitability....A queen of comedy who won't and shouldn't abdicate."
Wall Street Journal
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "She remains one of the funniest, dirtiest, most daring and transgressive of stand-up comics, and she hasn't missed a beat."
"[A] rip-roaring documentary....She's a teller of hilarious gutbucket truths as surely as Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor ever were." -- Grade: A
"A PIECE OF WORK is funny, heartbreaking, and casually profound about the insatiable need for validation and approval that fuels so much stand-up comedy." -- Grade: A-
4 stars out of 5 -- "Stern and Sundberg's doc works best when showing us how much work Rivers puts in to stay at the top. She's a workaholic with file cabinets of cross-referenced jokes -- and they're shockingly funny."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Her wit cuts as sharp as one of her diamonds, her observations as acute and timely as those of Jon Stewart and Sacha Baron Cohen."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "A fascinating account of a driven showman....It's most compelling as a documentary on the vicissitudes of showbiz."
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