‘Piece of Her’ 2022: A Netflix mystery assembles around Toni Collette’s mom with a past
“Piece of Her” 2022: Assembles one of those short-lived thrillers that Netflix works on in abundance, teasing a fairly disposable mystery that’s enough to bring you to the end.
The twisty mother-daughter storyline, adapted from Karin Slaughter’s bestselling novel, operates on a twin timeline, a format that is certainly all the rage.
Perhaps most important, the project serves as a showcase for Toni Collette, opening in a small town in Georgia where her character, Laura Oliver, raises her eldest daughter Andy (Bella Heathcote) on her own. .
Then, suddenly, in a jiffy, a troubled young man starts shooting for the diner where they are having lunch. Laura springs into action to save her child, revealing a side of her mother that stuns Andy.
Still, this is the first of many surprises, as Laura avoids media attention for her heroism, which, as it turns out, risks uncovering her complicated past, giving Andy the secrets she needs. Sends you down a strange rabbit hole to uncover.
Directed by Minky Spiro, “Piece of Her” cuts back and forth between Laura’s younger days and the present, tracing shadowy figures as Andy begins to peel back the various layers.
These include younger Laura’s deteriorating family situation, her overbearing father (Terry O’Quinn), and an earlier mother-daughter dynamic that may now help explain their thorny relationship.
In what seems like a common gripe with this genre, “Piece of Her” puts the puzzle together a little too slowly, and isn’t quite as good as the pay buildup regarding Laura’s hiding.
Andy is also a problematic character who seems in over his head to effectively deal with everything that is thrown at him,
while the people around him, including his former stepfather (Omari Hardwicke), are everyone as much as they do. You know much more than you are giving.
With her steely nature and haunting stare, Colette (whose busy Netflix resume includes “Unbelievable” and “Wanderlust”) helps step things up a notch, as Laura,
However he is absent for the bulk of the time as the story opens up to Andy’s current efforts while flashing back to Laura’s history.
Netflix nonetheless benefits greatly from this kind of “you might like” series, which hooks enough to justify a relatively modest (in this case, eight-episode) commitment.
“His Pieces” proves to be reasonably compelling on that level and on those terms, but with the series going on, it still feels like it falls short of the sum of its parts.
“Pieces of Her” premieres on Netflix on March 4.