Saturday 11 November 2023

Movie Review: A Good Person (2023)

Genre: Drama
Director: Zach Braff
Starring: Florence Pugh, Morgan Freeman, Molly Shannon
Running Time: 129 minutes

Synopsis: Allison and Nathan (Florence Pugh and Chinaza Uche) enjoy an engagement party, but then Allison's life is shattered: she is driving the car when an accident claims the life of Nathan's sister and brother-in-law. A year later Allison is single, depressed, living with her exasperated mom Diane (Molly Shannon), and addicted to painkillers. Meanwhile Nathan's orphaned niece Ryan (Celeste O'Connor) is being raised by her grandfather Daniel (Morgan Freeman), a model train hobbyist and recovering alcoholic. When Allison and Daniel unexpectedly meet again, they both have to face the past.

What Works Well: The tender melodrama delves into the destructive intersection of grief and addiction to reveal humanity lurking below the damage. Director and writer Zach Braff controls emotions to pragmatic levels, minimizing theatrical outbursts. Instead, Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman convey internal turbulence through sorrow and resolve, without shortchanging the demons of addiction, realities of avoidance, and pangs of regret. Residing in the middle of crises caused by others, teenager Ryan represents a future than can either recover or succumb.

What Does Not Work As Well: A lot is going on here: parental abuse, alcoholism, a fatal accident, and addiction are compacted into a couple of characters. The courage to tackle raw social issues is ultimately undermined by uniformly tidy resolutions.

Conclusion: Quietly effective and well-acted without breaking new ground.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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