Prison is supposed to be a place to reform. However, in many cases, when someone goes to prison they either stay there for the rest of their life, or if they do get out, find themselves back in at some later date. In the case of Miguel Piero (Benjamin Bratt), when he goes to prison, he begins to write. By the time of his release, he has already written his first play and, after getting it produced at a public theater in New York, becomes an overnight sensation. Not only a playwright but also a poet, Piero lives a life of extremes. Despite his literary success, he often finds himself homeless, drug addicted, and stealing from trusted friends. Set in the 70’s and 80’s and based on a true events, PIERO is reminiscent of last year’s BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, the story of another struggling Latin writer. Benjamin Bratt turns in a phenomenal performance that’s generating early Oscar buzz. Despite its non-linear storytelling and what is at times an episodic feel, the film should find plenty of success on the art house circuit.
Some of the most exhilarating scenes in the film occur as Piero delivers readings of his poetry, often set to music. In what can be termed as a simple, yet beautiful use of language, Piero delivers heartfelt and insightful words about life, love, and his Puerto Rican heritage. Knowing something of his life though, it’s easy to deduce that the film is filled with objectionable content. Most notable is foul language with 68 f-words and 37 s-words. Explicit sexual content follows close behind with two scenes portraying brief yet graphic instances of unconventional sex. Add a myriad of frank sexual dialogue and explicit drug use, and PIERO is a write off for Preview readers.
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013
Many (12) times – Mild 1, moderate 11
Many (109) times - F-word 68, s-word 37, other 4
Few (4) times – Regular 3 (J, JC, Swear to G); Exclamatory 1 (OG)
Once – Mild (woman pushed)
Few times – Graphic (unconventional sex on two occasions)
Few times (female breast in strip club/ in bedroom); Near Nudity – Few times (woman walks around in underwear)
Few times (man refers to not getting raped in prison, boy molested off camera by man, man attempts to sexually assault boy, man touches another’s clothed genitals)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Many times (comment about woman prostituting herself, glimpse of couple engaging in S&M behavior, woman comments on enjoying unconventional sex, woman expresses desire for sex, woman proposes unconventional sex, man talks about sself-gratification, couple showers together – no explicit nudity, man admires woman’s breasts)
Several times (cigarettes smoking, marijuana/ cocaine use)
Man stuck in self-destructive cycle believing need to engage in bad behavior to produce good writing
Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)