Pieces of Her review: Promising plot that stumbles over the finish line

Rating: 2.5/5

Pieces of Her is a mystery drama series that focuses on a woman who goes through a traumatic event that opens up a bag of mysteries regarding her mother’s past. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


Anna (Bella Heathcote) is living with her mother, Laura (Tony Collette), in the small town of Belle Isle. She’s still trying to find her way in life but her mother is trying to push her away for her good.

When Laura kills a gunman in self-defence in front of several witnesses, the attention it brings forces her to reveal parts of her life to her daughter she had never brought up before.

Laura is trying to run away from her privileged yet troubled past while Anna struggles to understand who her mother is going running behind the truth.

The two of them get caught up in a big conspiracy that involves Laura’s politician brother, Jasper (David Wenham), and her ex-lover, Nick Harp (Joe Dempsie), who was a radical extremist and also happens to be Anna’s real father.

There are dozens of twists and turns as Anna eventually learns about her true heritage and Laura is finally able to rest after living so many years in hiding.


While Bella Heathcote puts in a very good performance, it doesn’t necessarily suit a thirty-year-old. The fact that they mention her age at the beginning, meant that her performance should have been slightly more mature than it comes off as.

That minor gripe aside, Heathcote manages to capture the right emotions for each situation, be it the shock and terror while being on the run or be it the confusion and doubt towards her mother for hiding such a huge part of her life.

Toni Collette plays the role of a protective mother to perfection. All she wants to do is see her daughter live her own life away from any baggage, even if that means pushing her away by being cold and direct.

Her dismissive attitude when suffering from cancer feels like something real cancer patients go through from time to time and it truly makes you feel for them.

Jessica Barden was chilling as the young Jane/Laura. She barely showed any emotions and her performance came across like a cold lifeless husk. It did fit the character at certain points, given her upbringing but it was certainly unnerving for the most part.

Joe Dempsie is great as the charming radical whenever he is given time on screen although that figure is significantly on the lower side.


The story is well written and has a genuine interest factor to it. It starts off quite well and does manage to grab the attention of the audience.

The background score and soundtrack of the series is of high quality and showcase masterful control of each situation.


What starts off at a blistering pace slows down considerably and by the end, the audience is just left disappointed. The threat of Nick is built up well but is then left until too late and struggle to land.

The inconsistency with Anna’s character and how she flits between someone who doesn’t know what’s happening around to her to surprisingly resourceful is a bit of a drawback.

The structure of the series is all wrong with the flashbacks only depicting bits and pieces of the story but not really making sense until a follow-up flashback by which point the story has lost its lustre.


Pieces of Her is a decent thriller that tries to be engaging but fails at key moments. One could definitely give it a watch but it wont be long before the memory of this series has left the depths of the brain for good.

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