Review: The Greatest DVD

STUDIO: National/Entertainment One | DIRECTOR: Shana Feste | CAST: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Allen Bennett, Michael Shannon, Zoe Kravitz
RELEASE DATE: 7/13/2010 | PRICE: DVD $26.98, Blu-ray $26.98
BONUSES: director and cast interviews
SPECS: PG-13 | 110 min. | Drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby 5.1 Surround | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A serious-minded and well-acted drama, The Greatest delivers some powerful moments thanks to writer/director Shana Feste’s impressive neophyte work and the efforts of a first-rate cast. Carey Mulligan plays a young woman who arrives at the door of a married couple (Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan) three months after their oldest son (Allen Bennett) has died in a car accident, It turns out that Mulligan is pregnant with his child and seeks financial and emotional support, something the family has trouble with for a number of reasons.

As the film goes on, Feste explores the impact of the child’s death on everyone. Sarandon is obsessed with the man (played hauntingly by Michael Shannon) responsible for the accident that killed her son, Brosnan holds his feelings in check and younger son (Johnny Simmons), who knew about his brother’s relationship, attempts to cope with the loss of a sibling whom he was regularly compared to by his parents. Meanwhile, Mulligan, in flashbacks, recalls their burgeoning relationship before it was cut tragically short.

While The Greatest pours on the pathos pretty thickly and some of its dialogue and situations seem contrived, the film does have enough impact for fans of intelligent no-nonsense cinematic stories to elicit well-earned tears a few times during its proceedings.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.