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REVIEW: ‘A Good Person’ Is a Brilliant Showcase of Florence Pugh’s Talent

4.5/5 band shirts.

Florence Pugh with tears on her face in A Good Person

A Good Person brings us another amazing performance from Florence Pugh in the midst of a heart-wrenching story about grief, addiction, and finding the will to overcome all of the obstacles life has thrown at you. When Allison (Pugh) gets in a car accident with her would-be future sister-in-law, she’s left with survivor’s guilt. That guilt, mixed with the pain medication that she has to take for the surgery she had post-accident, leads Allison down a path to addiction that derails whatever life plans she had.

The movie focuses on Allison’s journey to sobriety. She’s going to meetings when she meets Daniel (Morgan Freeman). He is the father of Molly (Nichelle Hines) and Nathan (Chinaza Uche) and would have been Allison’s father-in-law prior to the crash. Their unlikely bond is forged from their shared trauma, as well as Allison’s desire to help Molly’s daughter, Ryan (Celeste O’Connor), cope.

It’s a story of grief tied to Allie’s own struggles to understand where she is in her own life. She keeps trying to push her way back into Nathan’s family again, Ryan’s life specifically, because Allie had ended her relationship with Nathan.

One of the more intriguing things about this movie, outside of Pugh’s always stellar performance and what we’ve come to expect from Zach Braff movies, is that A Good Person really pairs Pugh’s own musical talents with Braff’s ability to make a soundtrack shine and brings us original music mixed with another soundtrack you’ll want to add to your music collection.

Zach Braff’s soundtrack thrives again

Florence Pugh at the Piano in a Good Person

One of the things you can always count on with a Zach Braff movie is a soundtrack that really connects with the movie, and that is done perfectly in A Good Person—mainly in that music is so singularly tied to Allie as she uses music to start to cope. Fans know that Pugh has musical talent, as she’s frequently collaborated with her brother, Toby Sebastian.

With Allie, music was something that inspired her, and throughout the movie, we can see her love for it through her choice of band shirts and her own desire to make music again when she begins to get her life back in order. So, it makes the soundtrack that we’ve come to expect from a Braff movie that much more important.

Being your own savior

Throughout the movie, Allie is constantly enabled—not for lack of trying, but even her mother, Diane (Molly Shannon), enables her and is at a loss at how to help Allie. But she, through her struggle and her rock bottom, comes to realize that her guilt over surviving is going to waste as she just keeps numbing herself. It is, overall, a movie about emotions, guilt, addiction, and trying to overcome, all rolled into the New Jersey landscape that Zach Braff loves to return to in his work.

A Good Person hits theaters this Friday and is an emotional ride that does have its lighter moments, as Braff is wont to do with his work, but this is definitely one where fans will go in for Pugh’s performance and come out having a love and appreciation for the story that Braff and company crafted.

(featured image: MGM)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.