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April 14, 2010 > Movie Review: The Greatest

Movie Review: The Greatest

By Jennifer Gau

"The Greatest" is a guaranteed tear-jerker. It embodies honest dysfunctions of a family. Shana Feste, writer and director, shares a story about one family that deals with a lost member. Allen and Grace Brewer (Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon) are dealing with the death of their oldest son, Bennett. Amidst the grieving period, a young woman named Rose (Carey Mulligan) shows up at their door pregnant, claiming Bennett is the father. They reluctantly take her in, and together they learn to face the facts of life.

Grace is grieving because she lost her eighteen year old son, and is searching for a way to move on from the horror. Sarandon's role in this movie is similar to her role in "Step Mom" (1998) where she felt she was the victim. Sarandon does well in conveying delirium, grief, and emptiness as a mother in this situation. Pierce Brosnan, on the other hand, does not seem to be able to shed any tears. He is barely able to convince the audience of the working partnership Allen has with Grace as grieving parents.

Rose's character has a personality that is too strong for a new teenage mother. If she has any fears, there are no hints of it. Because of her strength and love for her baby's daddy, she tries to be the glue for Bennett's broken family. After Bennett's death, each member is like a drifting ghost with no purpose in life. The grieving period is emotionally and physically difficult for everyone but as we all learn some time in our lives, the sun comes out after the rain.

Flashbacks of Bennett and Rose's courtship are done well with just enough personal human touch. It is like watching priceless family home videos. They are a glimpse into the past you knew happened, but never heard or saw. These flashbacks were inserted in the right places within the movie's present timeline. When a situation gets difficult to deal with for Rose, we go back in time to remember that she has seen better days.

Overall, the ups and downs of a family are something we all can relate to. Life happens unexpectedly at times. We sometimes forget where we can pull support from to get through life's hurdles. This is the movie to watch if you have somehow forgotten how precious your family is.

Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes
Rated: R

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