Friday, September 16, 2016

Good Grief (2016) Harlem International Film Festival

With a score reminiscent of the Vince Guaraldi Peanuts  GOOD GRIEF is the story of a bunch of friends who return for the funeral of one of their number and are forced to consider the choices that they have made in their lives which had been turned into a successful comic strip.

Expanding his short Brandon Ford Green writes, directs and stars as part of a killer ensemble that muscles through the typical "whatever somethings come together to sort out their lives" plot. Yes you been here before. If you're a lover of inde film then no doubt you're like me and you've seen 14 variations of the plot this year alone. I know the friends come together in the description scared me to death to the point that I really didn't want to see the film...

...I'm happy to report that GOOD GRIEF surprised the hell out of me and is actually very good.

While there is no doubt that Green is a director to watch, his construction of the plot and his arrangement of scenes and shots make it something other than most other inde films, meaning it's actually not run of the mill, the film's main selling point is the cast. The ensemble is pretty much close to perfect and they lift even the least written character and makes them some one you care about. I would love to wax poetic about them individually but they are all great and are another case for why the Oscars should have an ensemble award.

Honestly, as much as I hate these sort of films, GOOD GRIEF is actually a film that I would watch again (by my own choice) and not just something I would recommend. That should be taken as very high praise for the film and a major dismissal of most other films with a similar plot line. (My only complaint is the inclusion of the comic thread since everything else is so good it didn't need to be there, especially since it forces thoughts that these are all grown up Peanuts. Its a comparison we shouldn't be making)

A really nice surprise at the Harlem International Film Festival- GOOD GRIEF is recommended when it plays tomorrow at the Festival or where ever you catch it after that because this is a film that is going to have a long life.

For tickets and more information go here.

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