Venice: Martin Scorsese Joins 'Pieces of a Woman' as Executive Producer

Pieces of a Woman_Still
Bron Studios

The English-language debut of Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó stars Vanessa Kirby, Shia LaBeouf, Molly Parker and Sarah Snook.

Martin Scorsese has given his seal of approval to Kornél Mundruczó's Pieces of a Woman, boarding the finished film, which will premiere at the Venice Film Festival next month, as an executive producer.

Mundruczó's English-language debut, Pieces of a Woman stars Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf as Martha and Sean Carson, a Boston couple whose lives are irrevocably disrupted when their home birth goes horribly wrong and their midwife (Molly Parker) is brought up on charges of criminal negligence. Ellen Burstyn co-stars as Martha's domineering mother. The script, from Mundruczó's collaborator and partner Kata Wéber, is based on their own personal experiences.

"Pieces of a Woman for me was a deep and uniquely moving experience," Scorsese said. "I was emotionally invested in it from the first scene, and the experience only intensified as I watched, spellbound by the filmmaking and the work of a splendid cast that includes my old colleague Ellen Burstyn. You feel as if you’ve been dropped into the vortex of a family crisis and moral conflict with all its nuances, drawn out with care and compassion but without judgement. ... It’s lucky to see a movie that takes you by surprise. It’s a privilege to help it find the wide audience it deserves."

Scorsese has made it a habit in recent years of adding his name as an executive producer to promising indie titles as a way of boosting their profile and helping their international release. In 2016, he boarded Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems and did the same with Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro two years ago. Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir, its upcoming sequel The Souvenir: Part II, and Josephine Decker's Sundance title Shirley have also benefited from the imprimatur of a Scorsese executive producer credit.

Bron Studios, which produced Pieces of a Woman with Little Lamb in association with Creative Wealth Media Finance and Proton Cinema, brought Scorsese and Mundruczó together.

The Hungarian director has already built up an international fan base among art house aficionados with works like White God, which won Un Certain Regard in Cannes in 2014, and Jupiter's Moon (2017), which screened in Cannes' official competition. Mundruczó said "time stopped for a second" when Scorsese first contacted hi. He called the director's support of his film "a deeply appreciated validation of the risks one takes when going forward to make something truly personal."

Kevin Turen, Ashley Levinson and Aaron Ryder produced Pieces of a Woman with exec producers Sam Levinson, Stuart Manashil, Viktória Petrányi, Jason Cloth, Richard McConnell, Suraj Maraboyina, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Steven Thibault. Bron Releasing is handling world sales on the film.

Pieces of a Woman will premiere in competition in Venice before getting a gala screening in Toronto.