Daniel Levy’s heartfelt yet sombre directorial debut yields a modest return | Films | Entertainment

January 5, 2024
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Daniel Levy emerges from the heart-on-sleeve warmth of Schitt’s Creek, the TV show he co-created with his father Eugene, and paddles into the troubled waters of a sombre feature film directorial debut, shot on location in London and Paris.

Good Grief is a bittersweet symphony to love, reminiscence and misplaced sadness, set almost one year after Levy’s painter turned illustrator has witnessed the Christmastime death of his best-selling novelist husband (Luke Evans) en route to a book signing at the Louvre.

The tragic anniversary prompts a cathartic weekend getaway to Paris with two best friends: Ruth Negga’s self-anointed “hot mess” and Himesh Patel’s quietly yearning old flame, who must have Teflon fingers from holding a torch for 15 years. Their good-humoured interactions set in motion a domino rally of painful home truths, reconciliations and self-improvement.

Good Grief amounts to less than the sum of its affecting individual scenes, including an ageing father’s poignant eulogy to his only child. The central trio share convincing screen chemistry as privileged pals in emotional freefall while Celia Imrie delivers a barnstorming monologue with tear-glistened eyes as the late author’s financial adviser, who knows the corrosive effect of grief on those left behind.

Following her advice and investing 100 minutes in Levy’s heartfelt picture yields a modest return.



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