I'm not a hardcore film geek or anything, but I do know what I like even if I can't always describe why. A lot of indie/art films appeal to me, so I figured I'd check out Pieces of April.
Obviously seeing Katie Holmes play a freaky chick has the potential to be worth it, but the fact that it was shot on video and is clearly low-budget appeals to me. Most indie low-budget stuff I think tends to suck because it's so poorly written, but I figured if you could get a few reasonably well known actors it couldn't be that bad.
The good news is that the movie really delivered. Despite being somewhat thin on dialog, it conveys a lot of feeling. It's basically a story about a girl estranged from her family, and in particular her mother, who is dying of cancer. Knowing it's likely the last Thanksgiving they will ever have together, she invites the family to come to her and her black boyfriend's run-down NYC apartment for dinner. The story from there splits between the drive in of the family and April's impossible effort to cook dinner despite having a non-functional oven.
I think there are aspects of the family relationships that probably anyone can relate to in one way or another. It's just a simple but well-written story, and that's what I love about it. It doesn't preach or spell-out the point, it just is what it is. It makes me want to write and direct a film.