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Buy Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work 2010 Movie Online 1080p, 720p, BRrip and MOV
Drama, Biography, Comedy, Documentary
IMDB rating:
Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg
Kevin Brennan as Himself, Joan Rivers' housekeeper
Bill Sammeth as Himself (as Billy Sammeth)
Debbie Brennan as Herself
Analie Berthel as Herself
Graham Reed as Himself
Sean Foley as Himself
Denis Markell as Himself
David Dangle as Himself
Gilda Frost as Herself
Jocelyn Pickett as Herself
George Carlin as Himself (archive footage)
Joan Rivers as Herself
Kathy Griffin as Herself
Phyllis Diller as Herself (archive footage)
Melissa Rivers as Herself
Emily Kosloski as Herself
Annie Duke as Herself (archive footage)
Johnny Carson as Himself (archive footage)
Mark Anderson Phillips as Himself (as Mark Phillips)
Flo Fox as Herself
Sean Foley as Himself
Storyline: This documentary follows one year in the life of , who sees herself first and foremost as an actress, with her life as a comedienne/writer just an extension of being an actress. Now at age 75, Rivers has faced her ups and downs in her forty plus year career, the year leading up to filming being a down compared to what she would have wanted, which is a calendar full of engagements with several engagements each day. That want is in part to support her opulent personal lifestyle, but is more a need to bolster her own sense of self-worth as a basically insecure person who is probably best known now for her overuse of cosmetic surgery rather than her professional work. She feels that , who she admires, is now getting all the engagements she would have gotten in her prime. During this year, Rivers is seen going from engagement to engagement, some big - such as a Kennedy Center Honors for , a double bill with in New York, and her own celebrity...
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Funny and Fascinating
This is an amazing woman with an even amazing career. The film is well done with incredible candor and introspection that only a comedian would share. Nothing is off limits-the conference calls with her manager (Jimmy Sammeth who seems to have a love and hate relation with her) and personal assistant on the speaker phone in disparate attempt to land a gig to support her "Industry" and her opulent life style. I don't know of any comedienne ever lives or lived like her. The apartment is ritzy with gilt galore and classly decorated and she is the queen who has to do her raunchy routine to pay for the luxury. I have seen her live..she really does not have new or good material but people see her at least once, for the pure shock value. She is not afraid to show very unflattering scenes(even scary!) where she appears without makeup for a woman who thrives on vanity and plastic surgery. It becomes quite evident by the end of the film that she really does not have any close friends or family. Her daughter Melissa (not a very likable personality herself!) has no real love for her and her manager Jimmy Sammeth, who ends up quitting (it is ironic that the only tears she ever sheds in front of the camera is for him, and not for her husband who committed suicide in a philadelphia hotel.) Comedians become subtle and subdued as they get older but Joan, is the reverse. She is more daring and raunchy than ever. There were two other comedians, who maintained an extensive joke files like Joan..Bob hope and Milton Berle and they performed to their 90's. She says the actors fade out when they get to be fifty but comedians never fade..once a comedian always a comedian. The best scene in the movie is when she is sitting in the limo making faces to a voice over when she muses to a failed Play. The only thing I am not sure, is the therapy sessions with her daughter Melissa, was real or taken from a movie. I really enjoyed the movie. The two women producers have a great potential. They should do the same with Jerry Seinfeld!
This is a Fantastic Documentary
I cannot believe Joan is over 75 years old and is still a relatively healthy, sharp, and current performer. I just adore her on E! Network's Fashion Police and I wanted to learn more about her, so I watched this documentary on DVD. I am impressed beyond words with her natural talent and work ethic. Although I am not a fan of the Botox and the plastic surgeries, I can see past them to view the funny but insecure genius beneath. The scene where Joan encounters the heckler was heartbreaking but she handled it correctly as a stand-up, and not as a parent. The crowd was paying for funny, not maudlin, and so Joan delivered, despite reservations afterward. I was surprised about her constant worry over money, not something I would have thought she'd be concerned about. (But, goodness, that apartment!) And the honesty over Edgar's suicide and her break with Johnny Carson made for some interesting moments as well. I highly recommend this film for anyone interested in either Joan or in the career of a stand-up comedian/actress.
The Queen of Mean
"A Piece of Work" begins with Joan Rivers looking like a refugee from "Night of the Living Dead" before tons of make-up transform her into something resembling a human being. This peek behind the pose may seem brave to some. To me, it confirmed that Rivers has turned herself into Leona Helmsley! A few more gos under the knife, she'll turn herself into Michael Jackson!

"A Piece of Work" actually has a lot to say about the nature of celebrity. Rivers has money and fame, but what she really wants is status, which is why she attends a Kennedy Center tribute to George Carlin, although, as she points out, the tribute represents everything Carlin was against, namely rich Republicans (yuk, yuk). That Carlin made millions off of his feigned disdain for the establishment is lost on Rivers. That you have to earn respect in order to get respect is lost on her, too.

Kathy Griffin prattles about how Rivers paved the way for her, but that's the extent of the props, which is telling yet not surprising. Like Helmsley, Rivers is an utterly unlikeable creature who makes Snooki look dignified. The tirade during one of her routines about her daughter nixing an offer to pose for Playboy made me want to wash my ears out with soap! Little wonder her manager bails on her every chance he gets, her staffers put up with her only because she pays them, and her daughter (a wanna-be A-lister herself) can't stand being in the same room with her for longer than five minutes. Only once, when she and her grandson (whom she seems to adore) visit an ailing photographer does Rivers seem to get that the world does not revolve around her. But maybe, that was just part of her act.
Funny but Obsessive
There are definitely some hilarious moments in here. Joan still packs a wallop at 75. Her humour at times is vulgar – but I don't have an issue with that (it's just a warning that the humour is adult oriented). She performs in a broad spectrum of places - from dumps to respectable. Her home in Manhattan is unbelievable – think of Marie Antoinette!! Certainly not a place to sprawl onto the couch!

After about an hour I did get tired of her self-obsessive focus. Why would an audience (except her adoring fans) be interested in a play in which she gives a self-history of her rise to fame? There is always a danger when an actor becomes overly self-centered on her legacy. I believe she has fallen into the trap of not looking outward.

Nevertheless Joan is hysterical, can laugh at herself and makes us laugh. .
a piece of (hard!) work
Also located at my blog (with many more!), Awards Wiz! (

A piece of work--an obvious double meaning, right? Referring to the plastic surgery, but also to her brashness. I would go a step further and say the title refers to her incredible career and work ethic.

"In order to get struck by lightning, you have to stand in the rain."

While this movie affected me on so many levels, it is this quote near the end of the film spoken by Rivers's agent that sticks with me most. It reminded me of every crossroad I have ever reached when times were difficult and decisions had to be made. There are so many chances to give up because it not easy to stay on the path. Rivers shows us what it really takes to not only "make it" but stay in this biz called show. What does it really take? In one scene Rivers tells her daughter that being an actor/performer is about rejection. So many people would give up and come in out of the rain. But there are the handful of people who stay out long enough to get hit by lightning...once. Then there are people like Joan Rivers. She gets hit, but then she goes inside when the rain stops only to venture back out the moment the first drop falls to do it all over again.

This film has been floating around since the Sundance Film Festival, and I have heard and read a few interviews with Rivers discussing the film. So, I knew the movie was going to strip away the public persona of Rivers as the joke of a poster woman for plastic surgery. But I was still unprepared to see her in this manner. And not just the vulnerability factor. I had no idea how hard she works, how persistent she is, and how much acting REALLY means to her. This lack of knowledge is partly because my generation knows her mostly from her red carpet appearances. Needless to say that part of her career is a torrential downpour, if you know what I mean. Honestly though, how many times have we seen her lacking her JOAN RIVERS persona-- whether on E!, TV Guide or even The Tonight Show? Almost never. And why should we, Joan might ask. What we see is Joan at work. There is really no reason for us to see anything else. Thank goodness that this doc actually gave us one. And the best parts are when she is on the road!

When Rivers goes to small town America to do her act, she is obviously slumming compared to what she is used to at home in NYC. But she never really complains, outside of a joke. At least not until a patron at the act heckles her. And it's less complaining and more defending what she loves--her art and what she feels should be clear to everyone. If you can't laugh at the bad you are in a hell of a lot of trouble. And in that moment she keeps going, strong as ever. She is one professional who simply can't quit, partly because she isn't ready to give up her fabulous lifestyle, and partly due to the fact that she hasn't run out of things to say. But mostly (I think) because she absolutely loves it.

We obviously have a great subject, but in lesser hands this film wouldn't be what it is. Never once did I even wonder where the film was headed and I never once wandered in any way off the path the Stern and Sundberg set for me. I simply watched a bit of perfect organic storytelling. Even the jokes are so impeccably placed it wasn't until I burst into laughter, then hearing my fellow audience members also laugh (yes, just like her shows there were a few groans of uncomfortable-ness) that I was taken out of that blissful life-forgetting trance that I strive for in the cinema.

The brilliant storytelling doesn't stop with her work ethic. We also get to see much deeper into her relationship with her daughter, told in such a simple way in just a few scenes thanks to their stint on Celebrity Apprentice (one in a car on the way to the first day on set and another in a hallway after Joan apparently (we don't see the actual event) shuts down at a cast meet and greet.) I almost cringed at the mention of Celebrity Apprentice, but I stuck with it...for Joan...because I know she had to stick with it. It was a job she needed to take for so many reasons, which you will discover watching the film yourself. The biggest reason was one she didn't seem to even grasp...winning! (lightning!)

The big question is (at least for me...and this site!) how long the lightning storm will last. She talks about how the critics never really embrace her. But they certainly have with this film. Now...will the Academy embrace her? In the documentary category, celebrity docs (The September Issue, Tyson, Valentino: The Last Emperor) don't do so well. Heck. They don't even get nominated. But the Academy loves a comeback. And although Joan might say, "what comeback? I never went anywhere," in terms of acceptance, it is one. I am personally tired of every documentary nominated being a stroll down misery lane. This film deserves (at least at the year's halfway point) a nomination. But...if she gets the nomination, won't that diminish the subject of the film?

Who gives a f#$*. Nominate the c&^#!
Honest, Oddly Poignant
I wouldn't call myself a fan per se, but I've always admired Joan Rivers for just saying what she feels. This documentary chronicles a year in her life, her 75th year, and is not a laugh riot by design. She goes into the relationship with her daughter Melissa, her late husband Edgar and her long time manager whom she has increasingly been unable to trust to be available for her. The poignancy is from the various parts of this film of her life as a working performer. There are times that she is not in demand and more than once states she will "take anything". Also, there is a failed play and a scene at a Wisconsin nightclub where she has a shouting match with a person who objects to one of her jokes. You don't go to a Joan Rivers show to hear sweetness, she has always been pointed and sometimes outrageous. Anyone who doesn't know her well can get some insight into her from this film, but this film is more for people who know about her and like/love her. I like her for being bold and for being a pioneer. I would recommend it to everyone who is even vaguely interested but just know it is not a full concert performance. It held my interest throughout.
Worth watching
Definitely worth watching if you like Joan Rivers. I think that Joan Rivers is a great comedienne for today. Joan has always pushed the envelope throughout her life. Her humor is as risqué as ever today – as you have probably seen on Fashion Police. The thing about Joan is that she has courage. She is at the edge of what is acceptable in the same way as Chris Rock used to push the edge of comedy. But Joan doesn't hold back for anyone. But Joan has a soft side. This movie takes you behind the stage performance to the real Joan. She looks after her staff who are loyal to her. She once said "I just want to be loved". She is astute and acerbic. She has no barriers, especially on herself. She knows that she sends herself up worse than anyone else. And ladies and gentlemen, that is Joan. She is sensitive. She is a lovely person. She works hard. And she will dish is out even worse to herself than she will to anyone else.
Joan bares it all
In Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg's documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, we get an up close and personal behind one of the hardest working woman in show-business. From her youthful aspirations to become an actress, we find out that comedy wasn't always priority number one on Joan's list. Comedy was a way to support her acting career. She later notes that you can make fun of her comedy career all you want, but leave her acting abilities alone. She even suggests that she is an actress playing a comedienne.

Following a successful appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, her career was and her "industry" was set in stone. There was no turning back. From performing her act in Vegas and her hosting of The Tonight Show for Johnny on numerous occasions. Her comedy was (and is) in your face. If a joke is thought to be too edgy, she knows she hit her mark.

I'll let you fill in the rest when you see the movie, but this isn't about where Joan has gone or the accomplishments she has achieved. It's about who Joan is today, how she is constantly looking to reinvent herself and stay fresh. Her unbridled enthusiasm for performing and staying busy. Her commitment to family and helping others.

In the film, we see Joan talking on the phone, looking for an endorsement deal. She says she'll speak for anything, including adult diapers and male enhancement drugs. She's not a sell out, but is willing to thrust herself upon the masses in order to get noticed. Through much of the film we see her working on a stage play, a sort of autobiographical play where she delves into what it's like to be Joan. Her concern isn't about whether or not people will like her, but whether or not they will accept her back into the mainstream. She is well aware that people view her as the poster child for plastic surgery. She is well aware that her age (75) is something that can hurt her to land a job. Does that stop her? It only strengthens her desire to succeed.

While some people will view this movie as a cry for attention, and I can see how they would feel this way. Joan lives a life of luxury, in a posh, elegant, and expensive apartment in New York City. Her need to live luxuriously and with all of the plastic surgery stems from her past where she never felt nor was never told she was beautiful. She needs this things in order to feel pretty, to feel like there is a reason to wake up.

That is not what this film is about. We are not meant to feel bad for someone who doesn't feel pretty. We are meant to see a woman who gives her all for her fans, whom she adores, and her family, that she cares for tremendously, especially her daughter and grandson. There is a brief moment where she sits down to write out a stack of checks, both for herself and also to others, like family members who attend private school and whatnot. She doesn't bat an eye at this stack, but breezes through them because she knows they must be paid for.

Her comedy might not be your cup of tea, but I think we can all learn something from this relentless woman. A life devoted to work and to family. What a piece of work. It's a shame that this film was left off the short list for Best Documentary for the Oscars. I hope you will all see it nonetheless.
Really makes you feel sorry for her
Very depressing look into the life and career of 75+ year old Joan Rivers who is so clearly starving for attention and acceptance but more often just gets crapped on by the industry, her fans, the press and public. It's pretty sad to see what the business will do to someone and how even nearing 80 years old she is still willing to take any booking, even a roast of herself where people call her a the c word and say things about her vagina, just so she can stay relevant. It was very sad when she got bad reviews for her play because you can tell it hurts her so much that people generally do not respect her or take her seriously. I would recommend it because it is an interesting look at the business and shows how addicting it really is for the people that it chews up and spits back out.
The movie felt like a work in progress
Joan Rivers has done a great deal of good for many female comedians. And what this doc shows is that more than anything, she has an iron will. At 75, she is still on the road and on the stage, and hopes to be for another twenty-five years. All very inspiring. But so what? The documentary itself doesn't go anywhere. We start admiring Rivers for her tenacity, and that's all we end up with. Worse, given her 30-40 year history on stage, there are only a few clips of the past. Most of the doc is Joan talking about herself and her will. We see some very sad clips of her terrified looking daughter, Melissa, and the movie barely touches down on the most interesting fact in the Rivers career--the fact that when her husband failed at producing her talk show, he killed himself. How can you make something like that seem like a footnote? This whole thing could have been a five-minute video set to Donna Summer's I Will Survive, and been a lot more fun. Because oddly, that was the one thing this doc totally missed--fun.
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