One of the most remarkable things about the great new drama “A Good Person” is those movies that are of this high quality, normally come out at the end of the year, due to Academy Award consideration.
A Good Person, both written and directed by Zach Braff – in a normal movie world – that we are clearly not living in – is good enough to win the Academy Award this year for best picture with best actress for Florence Pugh, Best Actor for Morgan Freeman and best supporting actress for Molly Shannon. This is one of the best screenplays, stories, and acting that I have seen in a long time.
A Good Person is mostly about one thing – the accepted dark part of life that can happen to anyone who drives. People have jobs, errands, appointments, obligations, and in most of this country, with the exception of major cities, getting from point a to point b requires taking the risk of getting in your car and then on a highway or some smaller road and expecting that there will be no mishap during your trip. However, how many people die on this country’s roads every year? You can be the best driver in the world, with the best reflexes and then someone is drunk, or texting, or falling asleep – and your life, or the life of someone else can be over in an instant. This is the way it is, something that we all accept as part of life, part of our reality.
The entire story of A Good Person is about one such car accident tragedy, where the driver, Alison, played by actress Florence Pugh, just looked away for an instant to look at the GPS on her phone, and due to a giant tractor shovel that went into her lane, she swerved and two of the passengers in her car were killed. The horrible truth is that this kind of nightmarish tragedy happens every day in this country. When something like this happens to anyone, all normal petty problems of everyday life, mean nothing.
There are some people who have the type of brain where they can rationalize that because the accident was really not their fault, they can move on, and get back to their normal life. For most of the rest of us, the replaying of the accident and the guilt over being the driver of the car where two of your passengers died, might drive you insane, for the rest of your life. The only solution for too many of us is to escape from reality, to run away, to numb ourselves with alcohol and opioids so we feel nothing. This is the main part of the life of Alison and how she copes with her grief, her guilt and her new opioid addiction.
Alison’s mother, Diane is played by Molly Shannon in the best dramatic role of her career. The star of this story is Daniel, played by Morgan Freeman, who is the father of the woman who was killed in the accident. Freeman’s performance in this film is some of the best of his very impressive acting career. The daughter of the woman who was killed in the accident along with her husband is Ryan, played very well by Celeste O’Connor. Ryan now lives with her grandfather and a year after her parents death, is understandably having extreme problems adjusting to her new reality. All of this creates some extremely well acted scenes throughout this outstanding film.
The opioid crisis in this country has been going on for many years, mainly because of the greed of the companies who create the drugs like Purdue Pharmaceutical (the subject of the great Hulu Series Dopesick) reviewed in this blog. People who are injured and in pain eventually become addicted to drugs like OxyContin, long after their pain is gone because they can no longer live without the drug and face their lives without chemical help. This movie does an outstanding job showing Alison’s challenges in trying to breakaway from her life of opioid addiction.
The low Rotten Tomatoes ratings of only 58% could just be the stupidest one yet. This movie is a solid 95%, with my highest recommendation.
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