The Greatest

Film Review by Chris Buckle | 02 Apr 2010
  • The Greatest
Film title: The Greatest
Director: Shana Feste
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan
Release date: 12 April 2010
Certificate: 15

When titular champ Bennett Brewer (Aaron Johnson) dies in a car accident, his family – including the high-school sweetheart carrying his unborn child – struggle to reconcile their sorrow. With a legacy-bearing baby in the mix, a dash-to-the-maternity-ward climax is inevitable: unfortunately, the journey leading there feels similarly routine. Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan impress as the grieving parents – the former distraught, the latter attempting stoicism while he falls apart inside – but their roles are familiar, Sarandon in particular echoing Midnight Mile and In The Valley of Elah. Each gets a scene of showy catharsis (tears, anguish, shouting), as does Johnny Simmons as the underachiever kid brother and Carey Mulligan as the expectant mother. The latter proves to be the film’s trump card: while Sarandon and Brosnan get top-billing, the film is likely to benefit more from snowballing interest in the young Brit, whose charming performance overcomes the character’s clichés and in the process affirms her burgeoning talent. [Chris Buckle]