Florence Pugh with tears on her face in A Good Person

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

4.5/5 band shirts.

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.

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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
(MGM)

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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Author
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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.