releasing in the theater March 24th,’a good manRepresents the actor/director/writer’s latest film Jack BraffKnown –– For her non-TV acting work in ‘Scrubs’ making movies.Garden State‘,’I wish I was here‘ and ‘going in style‘
With ‘A Good Place’, he chooses instead to avoid appearing on camera like his previous films face me (Acted with Michael Caine And Alan Arkin ‘going in style’) and Florence Pugh front and center.
“Sometimes we find hope where we least expect it.”
In A Good Person, Alison (Florence Pugh) is a young woman with a bright future – a great fiancé, a blossoming career and supportive family and friends. But… Read the plot
What is the plot of ‘A Good Person’?
‘A Good Person’ follows Alison (Pugh), a young woman who seems to have a bright future ahead of her. She is happily engaged to marry Nathan (Chinaja Uche) and succeeds in his career as a drug representative, but a momentary lapse of concentration while driving results in a fatal car accident that kills his soon-to-be sister and brother-in-law.
Allie descends into depression, confusion and, thanks to the painkillers prescribed for her injuries, addiction. She meets Daniel (Freeman), a former New Jersey police officer and recovering alcoholic who used to be Allie’s father-in-law before the accident –– though they had never met due to his estrangement from her older son –– by chance at an AA meeting and understand For begins an awkward but healing path. via Danielle’s teenage granddaughter Ryan (Celeste O’Connor), who was orphaned by the accident, takes more drastic steps towards peace and forgiveness.
But as Ally – living with her mother, Diane (Molly Shannon), who has his own red-wine-and-pill addiction — his need for painkillers intensifying and his decision-making ability affected, this story of redemption, friendship and courage tackles other issues of contemporary life.
Related Article: Florence Pugh and Writer/Director Jack Braff Talk ‘A Good Person’
Pugh and Freeman shine in the movie
Focusing on his particular style and characters seeking to fix something broken within themselves, Braff has developed a welcome ability to cast and believe in some great actors. What he gave from his first outing Natalie Portman Chance to shine (though in a role many have criticized as a clichéd “manic pixie dream girl” who serves to help Braff’s lead character Andrew find his own path in life), the director has two great lead performers.
Pugh has established herself as one of the best actors of her generation, and she imbues Ally with genuine human pain and sweetness, carefully transforming (with Braff’s sensitive direction) from contented wife to haunted, damaged soul. Even staring at the camera, tears glistening in his eyes, Pugh does more with a glance than some actors manage with a single act.
As Ally descends through the traditional stages of a story, cutting off her hair and — in a Braff-ian display of highly emotional satire — ditching a car for a BMX bike, Pugh and her director ensure that the character almost always has our sympathy. Keeps, as the title suggests is struggling to be a good person.
Freeman, meanwhile, is at times at the point where he’s offered parts that don’t seem to challenge him, and while conflicted ex-Daniel is actually far from the most complex character he’s ever played, the actor gives it his all, with compassion and Witness his scathing rebuke to Ally after she abandons Ryan on an unauthorized night in Manhattan, shifting into desperation.
Daniel fits Freeman well, and he works well off Pugh, the two matching each other for emotional vibes and bringing even the most difficult situations to life, such as Daniel showing Alley his impressive model train setup.
It’s also worth noting that the movie is by no means devoid of humor, and there are some raunchy moments, such as Daniel Ryan being caught in bed with Quinn (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio), chasing the near-naked lover out of the house, where he is confronted by neighbor Belinda (Jackie Hoffman), who yells at Quinn with her garden hose that he’s a “f***ing boy”, or Shannon dips into her own extensive comedic experience to make Diane a more entertaining character than the typical annoying mom.
What is the problem with the movie?
For all the strong performances from Pugh, Freeman and Shannon, there’s little escaping the fact that ‘A Good Person’ has little to say about addiction or other life challenges.
Ally and Danielle’s stories move along predictable arcs, and when they fall into well-trodden behavior, like Ally flushing pills down the toilet or Danielle fighting over whether to unlock her gun from her, you can’t help suppressing a seriousness of disturbing recognition. Safe when she knows Ryan is in trouble. If you’re going to exploit established moments like this, at least find something really fresh to do with them. Braff, sadly, just sticks to the expected and you can almost tick them off a checklist as they appear.
And while you can see the logic of having Freeman, an actor whose voice has become so iconic it’s been parodied over the years, narrate the opening moments and a letter his character wrote late, you can see for yourself that Braff could have found something more interesting. And more revealing comments than having him as Daniel about how life doesn’t work as neatly as the curated world of a model train set. You might find him walking around with a sandwich board that screams, “It’s a metaphor.” It’s frustrating and exhausting.
There are important, human things to say about grief, but while the film offers few of them, nothing here feels like it hasn’t been said a hundred times before, in a better way. And for a film that promises complex characters, it certainly wraps things up in the simplest fashion.
Braff has had some great recent performances but can’t fully avoid some very obvious clichés. It may be called ‘A Good Person’, but it is little more than an average movie.
‘A Good Person’ has 6.5 out of 10 stars.
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‘A Good Person’ is produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Killer Films, RocketScience, Elevated Films and Elevation Pictures and is slated for a March 24 release.
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