Greetings again from the darkness. When is it too soon to look back? We all experienced the pandemic, and yet, things aren’t quite normal again … at least not the ‘old’ normal. Talented writer-director Peter Hedges (the underrated PIECES OF APRIL, 2003) shows us the various ways in which the pandemic affected folks, and how zoom and other virtual connections became the lifeline to the outside world for many.
You will surely recognize many of the faces being filmed by smart phones and zoom recordings. These include: Mary-Louise Parker, Sandra Oh, the great Elaine May, Rosemarie Dewitt, Ron Livingston, Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jr, Noma Dumezweni, Judith Light, and many others. Twenty-four characters in all (according to the synopsis), and we see most of them in two different scenarios. We see young people worried about old people, and vice versa. We see parents worried about kids, and kids worried about parents. Significant others check in on their “better half”, while a ‘ground zero’ nurse searches for a different kind of companionship and escape. We see the struggles of teachers and parents, and witness the loss of loved ones. There is even an online yoga class, a virtual AA meeting, and the challenges of Tele-doc.
You will recognize most of these situations and exchanges, whether you went through them yourself, or heard about them from friends or family members. What’s obvious is the heightened stress level of every person during this unique time period. The effects of isolation and loneliness are expertly portrayed here, and we should all be quite appreciative of zoom meetings, Facetime, and all other virtual connection applications. Only you can decide if it’s too soon or not, but either way, we can tip our caps to Peter Hedges and the actors.
Opening in theaters on October 14, 2022