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Kwei’s Film Reviews-14: Is Netflix’s “Good Grief" Worth the Pain?

In my film reviews, I start with the benchmark of five stars and then deduct half or one point if the film falls short in any of the following categories: · Storyline · Screenplay · Acting · Direction · Character Arcs


The reviews are my opinions alone.


A movie poster for 'Good Grief' by DALL-E, depicting Dan Levy as Marc, Ruth Negga as Sophie, and Himesh Patel as Thomas. The characters are shown against a blended backdrop of London and Paris, symbolizing their emotional journey. The title 'Good Grief' is displayed at the top.
Heartache and healing in 'Good Grief' - A Netflix Original film starring Dan Levy, Ruth Negga, and Himesh Patel


Plot Overview

"Good Grief," a heartfelt drama on Netflix, follows Marc, a London-based illustrator played by Dan Levy. Shattered by the unexpected death of his husband Oliver (Luke Evans), Marc embarks on a soul-searching journey to Paris with his two best friends, Sophie (Ruth Negga) and Thomas (Himesh Patel). The film explores their intertwined lives and personal struggles, revealing hard truths and the importance of friendship in the face of grief.


Cast Highlights

Dan Levy as Marc: Dan Levy, known for his acclaimed work in "Schitt’s Creek," brings a nuanced performance as Marc. His portrayal of a London-based illustrator dealing with the sudden loss of his husband is heartfelt and profoundly moving. Levy's ability to convey emotions, from profound grief to cautious hope, anchors the film.

Ruth Negga as Sophie: Ruth Negga delivers a captivating performance as Sophie. Her character's complexity is brought to life with an intensity that is both compelling and relatable. Negga's portrayal of Sophie's dramatic journey through personal challenges adds depth to the narrative, making her a standout in the film.

Himesh Patel as Thomas: Playing Thomas, Marc's friend, showcases his acting versatility. His portrayal of a character grappling with his issues while supporting a grieving friend adds a layer of authenticity to the film. Patel's performance is understated yet impactful, providing a balance to the more dramatic elements of the story.

Luke Evans as Oliver: Though Luke Evans' character, Oliver, is central to the plot, his portrayal raises questions about the character's depth. The film struggles to establish Oliver as a sympathetic figure, which leaves some aspects of his relationship with Marc unexplored. However, Evans' performance is notable for its charisma and presence, which leaves a lasting impact despite the character's limited development.


Behind The Scenes

Dan Levy, renowned for his role in "Schitt’s Creek," makes his directorial debut with "Good Grief," a project he kept separate from his collaboration with his father, Eugene Levy. The film, set against a glitzy London backdrop, stands out for its rich cinematography and compelling narrative. Despite initial misgivings about its opulent opening, the film quickly recovers, thanks mainly to its exceptional cast.


Commentary

Dan Levy, renowned for his role in "Schitt’s Creek," makes his heartfelt directorial debut with "Good Grief," a project he kept separate from his collaboration with his father, Eugene Levy. The film, set against a glitzy London backdrop, stands out for its rich cinematography and compelling narrative. Despite initial misgivings about its opulent opening, the film quickly recovers, thanks mainly to its exceptional cast.


Wrap-up and Rating

Storyline: A poignant exploration of love, loss, and the healing power of friendship, though it leaves some emotional depth uncharted.

Screenplay: Engaging and vibrant, but occasionally marred by pretentious dialogue, detracting from the film's authentic feel.

Acting: Stellar performances across the board, each actor bringing a unique depth to their roles, particularly Ruth Negga's standout portrayal.

Direction: Dan Levy's directorial debut is visually compelling and emotionally resonant despite some narrative inconsistencies.

Character Arcs: Well-crafted and evolving, each character's journey is individual and interconnected, though some relationships lack full exploration.


"Good Grief" is a beautifully shot film that offers a nuanced look at love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. The performances are sublime, and the directing is praised for its visually stunning scenes, particularly in Paris. The film's inability to flesh out certain characters fully and its occasional script issues result in a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.





Bottom Line

Despite a few shortcomings, "Good Grief" is a moving portrayal of grief and the enduring power of friendship. It's a must-watch for fans of heartfelt dramas and showcases Dan Levy's potential as a filmmaker.



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