Review | ‘A Good Person’ tells story of grief and second chances

A Good Person | Dir: Zach Braff | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

The film starts off on a joyous note with the beautiful people celebrating the engagement of Allison (Florence Pugh) and Nathan (Chinaza Uche), and Allison playing the piano and singing the song from their first date to their gathered families.

The feel-good exhilaration comes crashing down the next day when Allison is driving her fiancé’s sister and the sister’s partner to look at wedding dresses and see a play in the city, and Allison is the only one to survive an horrific crash.

A year later, Allison has broken up with Nathan. She is unemployed, living with her alcoholic co-dependent mother (Molly Shannon) and addicted to the prescribed painkillers known as Oxy. Banned from getting any more prescriptions from her numerous doctors, she is still in denial about everything in her life, even though her desperation has driven her to the lowest of levels including trying to blackmail a former work colleague to get pills.

Eventually Allison realises her predicament but rehab is out of reach for the uninsured and so she goes to an AA meeting at a local church. It is here that recovering alcoholic Daniel (Morgan Freeman) is confronted with the person responsible for taking his daughter’s life and leaving him with having to care for his 16 year-old granddaughter Ryan (Celeste O’Connor).

It is 85 year–old Freeman’s mellow voice that narrates the story while he potters with his model trains that provide ready metaphors for life. He draws the audience into the film about addiction, grief, redemption and second chances and the audience is too busy crying to notice that there are some glaring omissions in order to create a Disney ending.

On Sunday 23 April, Luna Leederville is hosting a special screening of A Good Person. The 12.15pm screening is followed by a virtual Q&A with writer/director and Scrubs icon Zach Braff which will be streamed live into the cinema.

Lezly Herbert

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