A Good Person Movie Review – “Hurt people hurt people,” a phrase frequently used in the context of empathy or forgiveness, is a true statement about how patterns repeat themselves unless individuals take measures to recognise and modify them. However, it is also true that in some circumstances, only those who have been harmed may assist those who have been injured. Their lived experience provides them credibility when it comes to sharing what they’ve learnt and setting an example for those in need to show that they can do better and feel better. This is why support groups are so important in assisting individuals suffering from addictions, disease, grief, or abuse.
In “A Good Person,” three persons who have been brutally injured support each other. Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh provide tenderhearted, heartbreaking performances while writer/director Zach Braff leads the film. Both play people who are trying to find their way ahead after experiencing heartbreaking failures with fatal repercussions. (A Good Person Movie Review)
It’s more formal than his debut picture, “Garden State,” and happily less self-indulgent than his second, “Wish I Was Here.” “A Good Person” benefits from the same astute sense of detail and character in both, tackling difficult topics of addiction, abuse, abandonment, crushing grief, and finding a way to forgive the unforgivable, even if it means forgiving yourself. And what it means to be a decent person, as the title says.
Pugh plays Alison, a carefree young lady who lives life on the surface and doesn’t give any thought to her decisions. She is blissfully married to Nathan (a charming Chinaza Uche). She makes a lot of money as a sales agent for a pharmaceutical business, convinced herself that her profession is not unethical because the sole prescription she promotes is for a skin problem.
A Good Person movie review & film summary (2023)
Alison drives her future sister-in-law and brother-in-law to the city one day to assist her in selecting her wedding gown. She turns her gaze away from the road for a few seconds to check the map on her phone near a construction site. She is unable to avoid being hit by a digger. Alison is hurt, and both of her passengers are dead.
Ryan (a wonderful performance by Celeste O’Connor), the adolescent daughter of the murdered couple, lives with her grandfather, Daniel (Morgan Freeman), a year later. Ryan is furious and acts out, making the transition difficult for both of them. Alison spends the day on her mother’s couch, numbing her mental and physical suffering with oxycontin. Her engagement has ended. Diane (Molly Shannon), her mother, is losing patience, and her physicians are terminating her medicines.
Alison grows increasingly desperate for more drugs. Daniel, an alcoholic who has been clean for a decade, feels powerless in dealing with Ryan and considers resuming drinking. Instead, he seeks solace in his model train set, an environment in which he has complete control and may even re-create his own past in the manner in which he wishes it had occurred. (A Good Person Movie Review)
The script has structural issues, since it devotes so much time to addiction that it neglects some story developments and relationships. It depends on overused cues, such as a figure looking into the mirror to communicate, “I hate you,” and we understand the meaning of the model train set before it is over-explained.
However, some crisp language and passionate and smart performances by Freeman and Pugh keep it together. Pugh is very descriptive in each stage of Alison’s addiction struggle, whether she is high or “blissfully numb” or anxious to acquire some pills, detoxing, or somewhere in between.
In one moment, she runs into folks she used to look down on, and we witness layer after layer of her sense of self peel away. In another, she determines she can regulate her chemistry sufficiently to split a tablet in half, fooling people into thinking she is not high. That’s when she runs into Freeman, who is at his most touching in that moment.
We can see his struggles, yet he softly encourages her. What binds them goes beyond the anguish she has given him. Because he has been where she is, she cannot deceive him about whether or not she is using. This film, like Daniel and Allison, is pared down to its basics at its best moments. (A Good Person Movie Review)