‘A Good Person’ explores addiction after loss, grief

Daniel from ‘A Good Person’ sits at a bench waiting to see his son. Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Daniel from ‘A Good Person’ sits at a bench waiting to see his son.
Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

managing editor

It’s possible that grief and pain can change a person. Even the best of them, even the good ones. 

“A Good Person” explores what pain does to change a person. 

This movie is not light hearted and deals with the topic of addiction, but the message is important and does well to not sugar coat anything. 

One of the main characters, Allison, had a life set out for her with a loving fiance named Nathan, friends and a wedding on the way before surviving a fatal crash that killed her soon to be sister-in-law and husband. 

Allison was on her phone’s map while driving the car leading up to the accident.

Since then what transpires in the movie is a woman grieving. She looks for the solution to her pain in prescription medication but realizes later on that her hurt comes from the pain of guilt and loss. 

Florence Pugh was given Allison’s role, a choice so well done. In other movies, Pugh has been able to feed viewers the characters she acts with raw authenticity like any skilled actress could. 

The viewer gets to watch Allison go through the motions of acceptance following a year after the accident, which is shown with an honest and vulnerable Allison asking for help after turning to the town dealers for OxyContin. 

She does not easily accept her addiction, but when she finally realizes she’s drowning she sticks her hand out for help.

Allison’s journey is not perfect. After she comes to terms with her addiction, it’s up to her to learn to live again. 

Her help came in the form of her ex-fiance’s father who ends up being in the same support group she decides to join. 

Daniel, played by Morgan Freeman, takes on the role of caring for the granddaughter of his now deceased daughter. Watchers find that in the movie he also severely struggled with addiction in the form of alcoholism. 

He is a sweet old man, stern and caring for his granddaughter Ryan who is trying to cope with the loss of her parents after the accident. 

Along with that, it is revealed that his relationship with his son is severely strained due to Daniel’s years of addiction.

These people in the movie each have a story of hurt and are, without a doubt, perfect examples of normal, everyday people going through grief and living the best that they can with it. 

More than that, it shows even when the grief and guilt of the past eats you up and makes you feel isolated, you can find connection and camaraderie in it.

Daniel and Allison relapse during the movie, Allison a little more than once, but there’s an unspoken understanding between them even after falling out. They both just want to be free of their past.

This movie is heartbreaking and thoughtful. It’s not often people get to see the perspective from a prescription drug addict with the pain of guilt weighing her down. I cannot recommend this movie enough if someone were looking to define a good person.