Touching ‘The Greatest’ With Carey Mulligan Transcends Melodrama

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet 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

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

  • 2019 Physical Theater Festival

    CHICAGO – The visual artistry of the stage is often due to the picture that is created through the physicality and movement of the actors. This is brought to light in the 6th annual Physical Theater Festival in Chicago, a cornucopia of international imagination generating theater through the physical realm. Co-founders/Artistic Directors Alice Da Cunha and Marc Frost created the fest, which runs from May 31st through June 9th, 2019, Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District. All the Festival information – including tickets – can be found by clicking here.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions