Documentarians Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg provide an uncompromising glimpse into the personal and professional life of comedian and red-carpet mainstay Joan Rivers, a woman clinging stubbornly and steadfastly to the pop-culture bandwagon. Stern and Sundberg — whose previous film, The Devil Came on Horseback, covered the Darfur genocide — take a no-less-intensive approach to their subject here, taking a hard look at fame’s bitter toll.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Wow. “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” opens with a close up of a makeup-less, 75-year-old Joan Rivers and gets more revealing from there.
This documentary was filmed during what Rivers calls a slow year. She does stand up, puts on a play about her life, and stars on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” There are funny moments, well, funny lines. She is funny after all. And there are a lot of clips from her career and pictures of her life, which were awesome to see. But mostly this is a sad, sad look at an insecure old woman who has had a lot of tough times.
She’s candid about everything from beauty, sex, plastic surgery, her daughter, and her husband’s suicide. “A Piece of Work” is a really well made documentary and you have to give Joan credit for being so open about her life.