A Good Person - Film Review

A Good Person - Film Review


Posted 2023-10-30 by Serena Reidyfollow

Florence Pugh has done it again.

This time she's in a film called A Good Person, playing an addict – called Allison – whose future is seemingly bright until a fatal car accident in which she’s the sole survivor.

At the start of A Good Person, Allison is a young woman with a great life: she has a loving fiancé, and a talent for singing and writing songs. However, all of this comes crashing down after Allison is distracted while driving her sister-in-law-to-be and husband to try on wedding dresses. Unfortunately, Allison doesn’t notice another vehicle pull out into the road in front of her, and crashes into it, killing both passengers.

Unable to cope with her grief, Allison turns to opioids as a way of escaping reality and numbing the pain. A year later, Allison is fed up with being unemployed and living with her mother and decides to seek help. She joins an AA meeting, where she meets Daniel – a retired cop who is battling his own demons. Oh, and he just so happens to be the father of Allison’s ex. Despite this, Allison and Daniel form an unlikely connection that offers them both the chance of redemption.

A Good Person is directed by Zach Braff, who is known for the polarising Wish I Was Here and Garden State. It's not surprising that A Good Person has also been met with mixed reviews. Many critics have commented on the dialogue, saying that the relentless use of curse words undermines the emotional moments within the film. A Good Person has a running time of just over two hours, which does feel quite long in parts and could’ve done with better editing on Zach’s part.

However, one thing nearly all of the reviewers seem to agree on is the standout performance from Florence Pugh. With previous roles that include Soraya in Fighting with My Family (2019), Dani in Midsommar (2019) and Lib in The Wonder (2022), Florence clearly has a knack for stepping into the shoes of her characters and showing their emotions with sincerity. Indeed, in A Good Person, Florence displays Allison’s agony in a way that enables viewers to really empathise with her, despite her flaws. It can’t be easy portraying an addict, but Florence takes on the task of playing Allison flawlessly.

Morgan Freeman is also phenomenal. His role as an ex-addict struggling to raise his now-orphaned granddaughter is arguably one of his best. As with Allison, Daniel is full of rage after the incident – but he’s somehow better at hiding it, keeping himself busy by working on a miniature train track and taking care of his granddaughter.

Celeste O’Connor pulls in a noteworthy performance as Ryan, who understandably blames Allison for the incident. She struggles to make friends – with one of the girls mocking her for not having a mother – and quickly loses interest in soccer. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of Celeste in the future (as it so happens, one of the actor’s future roles is in superhero flick Madame Web next year, joining a star-studded cast that includes Sydney Sweeney, Emma Roberts, Isabela Merced, Dakota Johnson, Zosia Mamet and Adam Scott).

Florence, Morgan and Celeste are joined by several notable names, such as Molly Shannon (as Allie’s mother) and Chinaza Uche (as Allie’s ex). Zoe Lister-Jones (Allie’s sponsor) and Alex Wolff (an old classmate from Allie’s school) also feature in supporting roles, which are nonetheless an integral part of the script. They are both catalysts in Allie's decision to get help for her addiction.

A Good Person may not be perfect, and won’t appeal to everyone, but it's a timely film that addresses grief, addiction, guilt and loneliness. Despite its heavy subject matter and intense scenes that can feel slightly overwhelming, the film’s script is scattered with comedic moments that lighten the mood. A Good Person is bound to strike a chord with anyone who has experienced loss or is struggling with addiction themselves.

Don't let the negative reviews discourage you - give A Good Person a chance and see it for yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised.

A Good Person is in cinemas now and will be available on Sky Cinema from 28th April.

76748 - 2023-04-01 15:44:01


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