PIECES OF A WOMAN*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Alex
September 17th. In Boston, Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are expecting a child – Sean works in construction and Martha is taking her maternity leave from a corporate job. Martha’s mother Elizabeth buys the couple a new minivan for their new family, which Sean resents. Sean gives Martha photos of the ultrasound he had framed to put up in their new nursery room. Martha begins experiencing labor, and when Sean calls their midwife they planned to have for their home birth, she is currently in the middle of a labor. The midwife says she’ll send another midwife, Eva, which is upsetting to Martha, but Sean tries to keep her calm even as her labor intensifies.
Eva (Molly Parker) arrives and assures Martha that her pain and nausea are completely normal. Eva is surprised how far along Martha is and tells her the baby will be coming soon. Martha is in intense, deep pain and so Eva suggests they move her into the bath. It comforts her for a little, but eventually, Eva and Sean move Martha to the bedroom. Martha is fully dilated, so Eva tells her to begin pushing. After Eva attempts to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, she instructs Martha to move onto her side. She again checks the heart rate and says the baby’s heart rate hasn’t come all the way back up as it should. Sean is worried but Eva insists she will keep an eye on it.
Eva eventually tells Sean to call 911 and explain they have a home delivery where the baby is in distress. He makes the call as Eva continues to coach Martha through pushing, and eventually, Martha pushes the baby out. Eva says the baby sounds good and gives the baby girl to Martha to hold her. As Martha holds her, the baby turns blue, and Eva rushes to try to get the baby to breathe, she tells Sean to get the paramedics as soon as possible. The ambulance arrives and Sean runs out to lead them into the house.
October 9th. The baby has died. Martha resumes her regular activities, going to work, shopping – she smiles and a little girl and begins lactating. At the grocery store, she runs into a friend of her mother’s, who assures her that “that swindler” – Eva – will rot in prison. Sean and Martha head to meet with the coroner – Martha admits to Sean that she’s worried about his sobriety. The coroner can’t tell them any sort of conclusive cause of death other than the baby suffered from a lack of oxygen, enraging Sean. The coroner also tells them proceedings have begun against Eva.
Martha, Sean, Elizabeth and Martha’s sister Anita (Iliza Shlesinger) go to pick out a headstone, and the family gets into an argument over the spelling of the baby girl, Yvette’s name. Martha storms out and says they’re not having a funeral since she’s donating the baby’s body to science. Elizabeth tells Sean that Martha has a cousin who is a lawyer who would take up the case against Eva, who could face up to five years in prison, and asks him for all the documentation. He says he will have to discuss that with Martha – Martha ignores him when he tries to talk to her about it. He begins crying and makes her promise not to send the baby’s body to science, and she does.
December 21st. Martha has proceeded with donating the baby to science against Sean’s wishes. Elizabeth confronts her, having spoken with Sean, and asks if they can just please have her back when they’re done so they can bury her properly – Martha coldly rebuffs her. Sean meets with the lawyer cousin, Suzanne (Sarah Snook). When he comes home, he finds Martha taking apart the nursery. Sean wants to know why he’s trying to make their child disappear, and she wants to know why he’s teaming up with her mother behind her back. As they struggle over the room, they shatter the framed ultrasound photo. Sean asks Martha to take a trip with him and she doesn’t seem interested. He initiates sex with her, but it becomes awkward and uncomfortable and he storms out. Later, he cries alone.
January 13th. Sean tries to return the car to his brother-in-law Chris (Benny Safdie) who works at the dealership, getting angry when Chris says he can’t, but Chris decides to work something out. Anita asks Martha why she isn’t returning her mother’s calls, Martha says she’s busy with work, but Anita reveals she knows she’s quit her job. Sean has returned to doing cocaine and begun an affair with Suzanne, who tells Sean their criminal case against Eva is essentially a slam dunk, and that a civil case could be worth millions. Martha parties and a club and makes out with a stranger. The next day, she and Sean have a confrontation where he calls her a liar and a bitch and throws an exercise ball at her head.
The whole family meets for a meal. Sean and Suzanne pretend they’ve never met. Martha becomes agitated as Elizabeth explains that Suzanne will be trying the case. The family begins fighting with each other, with Suzanne saying she doesn’t want a trial, and it’s all that Elizabeth wants – Elizabeth says if she had what she wanted Martha would be holding her baby right now – implying that if Martha had listened to her and had the child in the hospital, the baby would still be alive. Elizabeth tells her she needs to use her voice and participate in the trial and speak up or else she will never be able to move on. Martha storms out, and Elizabeth tells Sean she never liked him. Elizabeth asks what he wants, and he says he wants to go home – Elizabeth writes him a check, tells him to take it and not come back. Sean tells Suzanne he’s going to Seattle, and Martha takes him to the airport.
March 22nd. Martha attends Eva’s trial. Suzanne calls Martha to the stand to testify. On cross-examination, the defense attorney points out that Eva told Sean that they should go to the hospital, and he said that to Martha but Martha said no. The defense attorney implies that the baby was born healthy but died after the birth for some reason, and Martha begins crying and asks for a break. She goes and gets the photos developed Sean had taken right after the baby was born when Martha was holding her that she had never gotten developed previously. She holds the photo and cries.
Back at the trial, Martha asks to address the court. Elizabeth and Anita are in the gallery. Martha says that she believes Eva did everything she could and that it is not her fault the baby died. She looks at her mother and says no trial or compensation could bring her back, and she doesn’t want any, because that would mean she could be compensated. She says she does not want to put all of this pain onto someone else, and she does not believe her daughter was on this earth to bring that pain, and she doesn’t believe she would want it.
At home, Martha finds that the apple seeds she had put out have started to sprout (Martha thought her daughter smelled like fresh apples). Martha, her mother, and her sister begin spending warm family time together again. On April 3rd, Martha goes out onto the bridge Sean had once been working on and scatters the baby’s ashes. Years later, a little girl is climbing in an apple tree. She picks an apple, and her mother, Martha, comes out to tell her dinner is ready.
Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) have a home birth for their child, during which the midwife Eva (Molly Parker) notices that the baby's heart rate is low - the baby dies shortly after.
Martha and Sean spiral into depression in multiple ways - Martha cuts herself off from Sean and her family, and Sean loses his sobriety and begins having an affair with Martha's cousin Suzanne (Sarah Snook). Eventually, Martha's mother Elizabeth (Ellen Burstyn) pays Sean to leave town and not come back. At the trial for the midwife, accused of being at fault for the child's death, Martha eventually testifies she does not believe it was her fault and that she does not wish more pain on anyone.
Years later, we see Martha has a daughter and has moved on.