‘A Million Little Pieces’ review: Another average addiction movie

New York Post Entertainment 1 week ago

The journey of “A Million Little Pieces” has been anything but dull.

James Frey’s 2003 “memoir” was a drug-and-alcohol-addiction sensation until it was revealed in 2006 that the author made a lot of it up. It’s “the essential truth!,” he rebutted after journalists exposed his fabrications.

Well, readers — and more importantly, Oprah — were essentially miffed that they’d been duped by a man they believed was honestly exposing his struggles. The story exploded and Frey’s career imploded. With all that headline-making drama, it’s a shame the tale ends with a film adaptation that’s destined to be an afterthought.

The mediocrity is not entirely director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s fault. When Frey’s book was published, addiction wasn’t being discussed as often as it is now. The US is enduring an opioid crisis, and a slew of films have dealt with substance abuse since, such as “Ben Is Back,” “Beautiful Boy” and “White Boy Rick.” They’re all better and more moving.

The one detail that sets “Pieces” apart is its opening. After a night of partying, main character James (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) wakes up on an airplane not knowing where he is. Scary stuff. He orders a whiskey from the flight attendant. “Sir, I’m not allowed to give you any alcohol,” she says. “Says who?” James replies. “The doctor who carried you on the plane.”

Bruised, bleeding and looking like crap, James arrives in Chicago and is taken by his brother (Charlie Hunnam) to a 12-step program rehab facility. At that moment, “Pieces” becomes just like every other addiction film, relying on colorful addict characters and torture-porn scenes to arrive at a hopeful end.

We wince as James has his nose painfully broken by a doctor to be reset, gets his teeth drilled without any Novocaine and repeatedly vomits like Old Faithful. It’s too much. As is the way he constantly destroys everything in sight and picks needless fights with fellow patients such as Billy Bob Thornton’s Leonard and Giovanni Ribisi’s gay John. There’s also an uncomfortable amount of nudity here. Which of the 12 steps is full frontal?

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, whose wife is the director, makes an impressive physical transition going from a walking scab to handsome chap. Emotionally, however, he’s one-note, quietly gargling his lines. James’ inner life and his experience is made up of a million little pieces, but in this flat film we get just one.

Source link
Read also:
Forbes › Finance › 1 month ago
The most profitable comic book movies are Venom ($854 million on a $90 million budget), Batman ($411 million/$35 million), Deadpool ($783 million/$58 million), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($200 million/$13.5 million), The Mask ($351 million/$23...
USA Today › Entertainment › 1 week ago
'A Million Little Pieces' stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson as James Frey, a young drug addict who goes through treatment.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
A new analysis by real-estate listing website Zillow found that in the US, the average million-dollar, single-family home boasts around 2,200 square feet. The analysis looked at the average square footage of million-dollar, single-family homes in 100...
Chicago Tribune › 1 month ago
Elgin Math and Science Academy third-graders posted scores above the state average in math but below the state average in English language arts, according to data compiled for the charter school’s first state report card.
New York Post › 2 weeks ago
The U.S. government is barring federal dollars meant for opioid addiction treatment to be used on medical marijuana. The move is aimed at states that allow marijuana for medical uses, particularly those letting patients with opioid addiction use pot as...
Cleveland › 1 month ago
The state of Ohio will receive $39.4 million from $700 million settlement reached by the federal government and states with a U.K.-based drug manufacturer over the marketing of an opioid addiction treatment medication.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
I asked eight women to share their favorite pieces of jewelry they've ever bought. Below, you'll find our most-loved pieces — from $7 Etsy purchases to $1,500 splurges we don't regret, and a couple favorites that we received as gifts. Read more: 11...
The Sun › Finance › 3 days ago
FRUSTRATED Harry Potter and Star Wars fans have been plagued by missing pieces in their LEGO advent calendars. Shoppers have been posting on Twitter after they’ve opened doors only to find that some items are duplicated, pieces are missing or...
Chicago Tribune › 2 months ago
There's "a slight tilt in the odds" in favor of above-average temperatures for this fall in the Chicago area, according to the National Weather Service.
The Daily Beast › 1 week ago
Leonardo Cendamo/GettyWhen I read James Frey’s book A Million Little Pieces in 2005, a few months after I’d completed a 28-day stay at the Hazelden rehabilitation facility in Center City, Minnesota, I was 27 years old and newly sober.I was not yet...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google