Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. If you're looking for an incisive portrait of self-generated stardom, you won't do better than this.
  2. The insecurities that seem to feed Rivers's often angry humor -- and that have left her face looking like a mask frozen in horror -- are left unexamined.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. j30
    Sep 22, 2011
    7
    A very entertaining movie about a very entertaining woman. It didn't particularly make me like Joan Rivers in any way, but she's funny and asA very entertaining movie about a very entertaining woman. It didn't particularly make me like Joan Rivers in any way, but she's funny and as the title suggests 'A Piece of Work.' Full Review »
  2. Sep 17, 2011
    8
    As a person who has never been a Joan Rivers fan, much less a Joan-and-Melissa Rivers fan, this documentary of a year in the life of the mostAs a person who has never been a Joan Rivers fan, much less a Joan-and-Melissa Rivers fan, this documentary of a year in the life of the most irritating comedienne on the planet is surprisingly, uhm, UN-irritating. Joan is the most human I've ever seen her and, like the movie Comedian by Jerry Seinfeld showed, the makeup of a comedian is rooted in insecurity and a sad, self-loathing existence that they feel trapped in. I'd never related why we saw George Burns, Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, etc. continuing to publicly perform their comedy until near-death. We still see it in people like Don Rickles and, as is painfully displayed here, Joan Rivers. On one hand, the viewer has to admire her raw talent and endless drive, but on the other hand, one wants to just hug her and say, "uhm...go retire. Go do something you've always wanted to do." That's just it, though. She IS what she's created. And that IS what she wants to do, even as each year looks sadder and sadder. She owns her existence, though, and while even aware of its flaws, she continues to power through. If you've seen her honest dialogue with Louie this past season and was moved by the honesty of it, this documentary will blow you away. Full Review »
  3. Dec 16, 2010
    9
    I was surprised of the movie not being recognized by the Academy of Documentary. I guess they don't want anything to do with Joan Rivers, andI was surprised of the movie not being recognized by the Academy of Documentary. I guess they don't want anything to do with Joan Rivers, and that's the whole point of the documentary. The doc started out with Joan Rivers' lowpoint of her career (when she's already 70 years old), and it progresses with Rivers working her way up again. The film demonstrates how the once comedic icon and well known star turned into "a piece of work". With her comedic talents blending with her sad emotions, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is a snub that the Academy missed out on. OscarBuzz: NONE, that's the point! Full Review »