Zach Braff as writer and director, understands how to shape raw emotion. Previously with Garden State (2003), he tackled a family loss by showing a heavily medicated numbing depression being internalized while trying to find answers. With this new film, A Good Person, Braff shows the various way people handle grief from a tragic loss and the messy emotional struggle it can cause.
Florence Pugh (Don’t Worry Darling, Black Widow) plays Allison, a fun-loving young woman who is engaged to Nathan (Chinaza Uche). While driving to try on her wedding dress, Allison gets in a car accident which killed her future sister in law and her husband. A year later we catch up to Allison, addicted to prescription pills and unable to cope with the mental and emotional pain of what happened. While seeking help, she runs into her once future father-in-law Daniel, played by Morgan Freeman. Daniel, attempts to help Allison and the pair develop an unlikely kinship as they work through their grief, lives, and family issues.
Pugh is dynamic as Allison whom she portrays as hurting, broken and yet likable throughout. We observe her understandable pain and find ourselves rooting for her because she is simply a good person. Pugh’s connection with Morgan Freeman is excellent, their non-traditional mentor and mentee situation is both believable and enjoyable. In my opinion, Freeman delivers one of his best performances in years. He has the depth of a man who has never found forgiveness for his past, while dealing with the grief of losing his child. He also has to raise his granddaughter who is from a generation he does not understand, and who is also working through her own grief of losing her mother. And yet, for reasons of his own, Daniel finds it within himself to help the one who harmed him. He is a man who is as much endearing a good person as he is flawed. Couple Pugh and Freeman with a strong supporting cast and we have a film that is realistic in its emotion and genuine in its story, and worthy of your time.
4 out of 5 stars