By Mark Fields

Zach Braff, best known as one of the lead performers in the long-running sitcom Scrubs, has also directed several feature films in his varied career, the most noteworthy of which is Garden State (2004). Braff’s latest film, both as director and writer is A Good Person, showcasing Florence Pugh as Allison, a young woman struggling to get her life together after a horrible car accident. Allison was behind the wheel, and her distracted driving caused the death of her soon-to-be sister and brother-in-law. As could be expected, the tragedy has sent ripple effects through both families as everyone finds different, not altogether effective methods to cope with the aftermath. Pugh is deeply moving and engaging in this challenging role, the latest of several exceptional performances in recent years. Morgan Freeman as Allison’s would-be father in law also impresses. Once you get past the tidy set-up, Braff’s screenplay sensitively and honestly portrays the consequences of addiction, but it does so in a subdued, humane way. The result is a heartfelt, resonant, and occasionally searing portrayal of a family in pain, stumbling to find comfort through connection.

Mark Fields
Mark Fields has reviewed movies for Out & About since October 2008. In addition, he has written O&A profiles of documentarian Harry Shearer and actress Aubrey Plaza. Over the years, Mark also has written on film for several publications in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and his home state of Indiana, where he also served as on-air movie critic for Indianapolis’s public radio station. Mark was an adjunct instructor of film history at Rowan University from 1998 to 2018. A career arts administrator, he retired in fall 2021 after 16 years as an executive at Wilmington’s Grand Opera House. Mark now leads bike tours part-time and is working on a screenplay. He lives in Trolley Square with his partner Wendy. Mark spent the fastest 22 minutes of his life as an unsuccessful contestant on Jeopardy…sadly, there were no movie questions.