Watch A Good Funeral
- 1 hr 30 min
A Good Funeral is a 2009 dark comedy directed by Chris Lineau, written by Lee Burns and Susan Burke, and starring Gary Cole, Jennifer Coolidge, and Agnes Bruckner. The film follows the dysfunctional Titus family as they gather to mourn the death of their patriarch, beloved preacher Elroy Titus (Emmy-winner Keith Carradine). The movie opens with Elroy's daughter Jo (Bruckner) driving to her childhood home for her father's funeral. Jo has been estranged from her family for many years, and she is nervous about returning home. She is greeted by her mother Barbara (Coolidge), her sister Lucille (Christine Willes), and her brother Daniel (Lucas Van Engen). Their reunion is awkward, and tensions quickly rise as old family arguments resurface.
Daniel is married to Elroy's former secretary, Cindy (Lisa Arrindell Anderson), and they have a young son together. Daniel resents his father for not giving him the pastoral position at the church, which instead went to Elroy's protÃ©gÃ©, Wyatt (Cole). Wyatt is deeply devoted to Elroy and the church, and he sees everything in terms of how it will benefit the church and its flock.
As the family gathers to pay their respects to Elroy, they soon realize that their father's death was not as straightforward as they thought. A manuscript is discovered in his study, which Elroy intends to publish posthumously. It reveals a side of him that his family never knew existed, and it dredges up painful memories for everyone involved.
The family dynamics are further complicated by the arrival of Elroy's former lover, Vinnie (Fionnula Flanagan). Vinnie is a brash Irish woman who is determined to pay her respects to Elroy, regardless of what his family thinks of her. Her presence causes a stir among the family members and prompts them to reexamine their own relationships.
A Good Funeral explores themes of grief, loss, forgiveness, and redemption. Each family member has their own way of coping with Elroy's death and the revelation of his secrets, and they all have to navigate the tricky emotional terrain of their relationships with one another.
Gary Cole delivers a standout performance as Wyatt, the devout and ambitious preacher who is caught up in his own vision of the church. Jennifer Coolidge is also superb as Barbara, Elroy's long-suffering wife who has her own secrets to keep. Agnes Bruckner brings a wounded vulnerability to Jo, who is struggling to come to terms with her father's death and her own past.
The film is shot in a subdued palette, which gives it a somber and contemplative mood. The pacing is deliberate, allowing the audience to fully absorb the emotional weight of the story. The script is smart and witty, with several laugh-out-loud moments that offset the underlying sadness. The movie is also unafraid to tackle darker themes, such as suicide and sexual abuse, without ever feeling exploitative.
Overall, A Good Funeral is a beautifully crafted film that explores the complexity of family relationships with depth and nuance. It is a poignant and thought-provoking meditation on the universal themes of love, loss, and forgiveness.
A Good Funeral is a 2009 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.9.