Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Greatest

UK Release: 25th February 2009
Watched on DVD: Monday 28th January 2013
Rating: 15
Genre: Drama, Romance
Runtime: 1hr 39mins
IMDb Plot Synopsis: Teenagers Rose and Bennett were in love, and then a car crash claimed Bennett's life. He left behind a grieving mother, father and younger brother, and Rose was left all alone. She has no family to turn to for support, so when she finds out she's pregnant, she winds up at the Brewer's door. She needs their help, and although they can't quite admit it, they each need her so they can begin to heal.

My Review: After missing this being broadcast on TV, I found it going cheap in a charity shop a couple of weeks later and so snapped it up right away! I adore anything Carey Mulligan is in and so I knew that the acting, at least, would be worth a viewing. 
It was interesting to see Aaron Taylor-Johnson too, albeit briefly, as while he was decent in Kick Ass and Nowhere Boy he comes across as a bit weak. Here wasn’t much different but the relationship between him and Mulligan was sweet and a more honest portrayal of young love than I’ve seen previously. Unfortunately he dies quite soon into the film and so we are left with the devastation left behind. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon play his parents, a partnership I wouldn’t necessarily have put together but seemed to work. I’m not really a fan of Brosnan but he did quite a good job of a grieving father trying to take care of his wife as she takes it the hardest of all. I think I’ve only seen Sarandon in Thelma & Louise and so it was great to see her in something more recent. She is still as fantastic as she was all those years ago and brought me to the brink of tears on many occassions as she struggles to come to terms with her grief.
But thankfully there is hope. Mulligan’s character Rose is pregnant and so the family all come together as they prepare for the arrival of Bennett’s child. 
This could have been heart-breaking and depressing and yet somehow, instead, it was beautiful to watch. It’s the drama that is usually found in independent British films and so was lovely to see in a different setting, but with equally excellent performances and tender moments.
It may have been somewhat predictable, but it was an emotional journey worth watching. While not the most romantic of romance films, it focuses instead on family and people coming together and finding hope - a theme that is under-appreciated, and needed more.

Score: 7.5/10

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