The Film To Watch This Week: A Good Person
The Film To Watch This Week: A Good Person

The Film To Watch This Week: A Good Person

If you’ve ever watched the SheerLuxe Show or listened to our podcast, you’ll know how highly we rate British actor Florence Pugh. In her latest film, she plays a woman gripped by opioid addiction – and her performance is as brilliant as ever. Unflinching, but also hilarious, here’s why A Good Person is well worth a trip to the cinema this week.
By Heather Steele

Allison (Florence Pugh) is a young woman with a wonderful fiancé, a blossoming career and supportive family and friends. Newly engaged to the charming Nathan (Chinaza Uche), she loves to sing and play piano, which is something we witness from the first scene – a fun-filled, booze-soaked engagement party surrounded by friends. However, her world crumbles in the blink of an eye when she survives a sudden accident, emerging from recovery with an opioid addiction and unresolved grief.

A year on from the tragedy, Alli is unemployed and back living at home in small-town New Jersey with her mother (played by the always excellent Molly Shannon), who herself enjoys a glass or two more of wine that she probably should. Now deeply addicted to the OxyContin prescribed to her for pain relief after the accident, her doctors have stopped giving her the drugs she depends on – and the resulting withdrawal symptoms are difficult to witness.

Following a series of increasingly desperate attempts to get her hands on black-market meds, Alli forces herself to attend an addiction recovery support group, where she forms an unlikely friendship with her would-be father-in-law that gives her a fighting chance to put her life back together. Daniel (Morgan Freeman) has also been affected by the tragedy. A hardened ex-cop, he’s currently raising 16-year-old Ryan (Celeste O'Connor) – with varied success. When Alli returns to the fold, tensions run high, but soon they all become one another’s support system – for better or worse.

It's important to stress that while A Good Person shines a light on one of America’s most desperate crises with a laser focus, it’s also punctuated with genuinely cackle-worthy moments. These moments of levity are so important, as they mirror life’s highs and lows – even in times of despair – and help hammer home the darkest scenes all the more. The relationships between each of the main characters are also incredibly powerful. While it goes without saying that Freeman is staggeringly good – in turns wise, complex and sympathetic – it’s 24-year-old O’Connor who is a revelation. Sixteen and Black, Ryan’s had to grow up quickly and O’Connor makes her witty, withering and vulnerable – as all teen girls are – but with the necessary edge her circumstances demand. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

A Good Person was written for Pugh by her then-partner Zach Braff (Scrubs, Garden State), who wrote the script in the depths of lockdown and went on to direct and produce it over 26 days on a tight budget. Each day, as he was writing, the pair would discuss Alli’s development and storylines, and Pugh’s resulting performance is intensely detailed and believable. Whether it’s Midsommar, Little Women or Lady Macbeth, she always delivers performances that go deep into a character’s psyche – and A Good Person is no different. Moving, laugh-out-loud funny and uncomfortably eye-opening, this excellent film – and especially Pugh’s performance – is well worth a watch.

A Good Person lands in cinemas on 24th March and on Sky Originals on 28th April.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily