Sundance Film Festival

Festival Updates My Premiere: THE GREATEST

Writer/director Shana Feste’s THE GREATEST, a film participating in the 2009 Sundance Film Festival starring Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan.

THE GREATEST
DIRECTOR/ SCREENWRITER: Shana Feste
U.S.A., 2008, 98 min., color

Crying your eyes out at the movies used to be commonplace. But the difficulty of affecting a contemporary audience emotionally demonstrates how much respect a work like THE GREATEST engenders: it is an enormously moving, intelligent exploration of pain and grieving, a film that will touch you and stay with you.

The death of their teenage son, Bennett, in a car crash is almost too much for the Brewer family to bear, not just because his was a life of such promise but also because the impact of his death unleashes the turmoil that was just beneath the surface of their lives. His mother becomes obsessed and can’t let go; his father, in turn, can’t face it at all; and his brother’s secondary status is magnified and entrenched. And when Bennett’s girlfriend appears, the family must come to grips with circumstances that complicate their loss even further.

An ensemble film that is the debut of Shana Feste, a particularly talented young filmmaker, this sensitive and heartbreaking feature showcases Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan at their best and launches a career for young actress Carey Mulligan that is certain to be impressive. This is one of the standout works of this Festival and is as fine a debut as we can present. —GEOFFREY GILMORE

ExP: Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Kaufman, Doug Dey, Ron Hartenbaum, Douglas Kuber, Myles Nestel Pr: Lynette Howell, Beau St. Clair Ci: John Bailey Ed: Cara Silverman PrD: Judy Rhee Mu: Christophe Beck Principal Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons, Aaron Johnson, Michael Shannon