Touching ‘The Greatest’ With Carey Mulligan Transcends Melodrama

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – The surprisingly good “The Greatest” opens and closes with two very different car rides — one silent and mournful and one loud and full of laughter; one on the way from death and one on the way to life. They are bookends for a well-performed tearjerker of the kind that mostly transcends its melodramatic set-up to become something genuinely moving.

I’ll admit to being an easy cry at the movies but I have to say that if you’re not in tears at least once during “The Greatest” there might be something wrong with you. It’s a film about being in touch with your grief and viewers should be prepared for an often brutally raw story on an emotional level. It’s not for the melodramatically faint of heart.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Greatest” in our reviews section.

The aforementioned opening car ride is home from the funeral of a son, brother, lover, and soon-to-be father. Bennett Brewer (Aaron Johnson, soon to be a star in “Kick Ass”) has been killed in a horrible car accident and left a father (Pierce Brosnan), mother (Susan Sarandon), brother (Johnny Simmons), and girlfriend (Carey Mulligan) in various states of shock. The girlfriend, Rose, also happens to be in another state when she arrives on the doorstep of the Brewer family three-months-pregnant with Bennett’s child.

Through sparse use of flashbacks we see that Rose and Bennett had what could be called a brief fling but also an undeniable love. He admired her from afar for years and finally got up the courage to tell her so just before the most fateful day of his life. Feature debut writer/director Shana Feste wisely doesn’t overplay the doomed romance angle which could have easily turned the film into another Nicholas Sparks wannabe, but we believe that the two young people loved each other.

‘The Greatest’ stars Carey Mulligan, Aaron Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Michael Shannon, and Johnny Simmons. It was written and directed by Shana Feste. It opened in Chicago on April 9th, 2010. It is rated R.

StarContinuing reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The Greatest” review.

The Greatest
The Greatest
Photo credit: Paladin

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