The Greatest | Chicago Reader

The Greatest

A parent grieving for a dead child is such combustible material that the most experienced dramatist might back away from it, yet writer-director Shana Feste, making her feature debut, handles it with grace and restraint. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon lose their elder teenage son in a car accident caused by his own foolishness, and their reactions are poles apart: he sits up in bed every morning coolly holding their alarm clock in his hand, and the moment it rings, bringing her back to the world, she begins weeping uncontrollably. Her keening is disrupted when the boy’s sweetheart (Carey Mulligan of An Education), who survived the accident, reveals that she’s carrying their grandchild. Sarandon knocks her scenes out of the park as usual, but the real surprise is Brosnan’s silent, agonized performance; his post-007 career has been one long campaign to prove he’s got the goods, and the extended, wordless scene in which the father rides home from the funeral, flanked by his wife and surviving son but abjectly alone, ought to settle the matter once and for all. R, 99 min.

Credits

Director:

  • Shana Feste

Cast:

  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Susan Sarandon
  • Carey Mulligan
  • Johnny Simmons
  • Aaron Johnson
  • Zoë Kravitz
  • Jennifer Ehle
  • Amy Morton
  • Michael Shannon

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