"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SNMR 7.5: "Grace is Gone"


Stanley Phillips (Cusack) is a Minnesota man who works for a home goods type store and misses his wife immensely, as she is serving in the Army and stationed in Iraq. He has trouble relating to his two daughters (O'Keefe and Bednarczyk) without her. When he gets the dreaded visit from two Army officers who inform him that his wife was killed in the line of duty, what remaining life he had drains right away. He wants to tell his daughters but can't summon the strength to do it. Instead he decides to take them on a long car trip to a Florida amusement park, only making one side trip to his mother's house, where he sees his brother (Nivola) instead of his mom. After a fun day at the amusement park and a side trip to a gorgeous Florida beach, he does finally tell his daughters the bad news.

Yes I really did need to tell you essentially the whole story line of this movie because there really is no suspense involved. You know almost from the beginning that something bad is going to happen, it's just a matter of setting up the story enough to reveal exactly what the bad news is all about. You also know that the daughters will eventually find out what happened, it's just a question of when will he tell them and what will the consequences be? It's also a look at grief and how differently each person handles it.

John Cusack gives his usual strong performance in a film that honestly was quite painful to watch. Painful, not because the story was bad but, because of the agony we have to go through waiting for him to spill the bad news and how unfair it was of him to keep it hidden for as long as he did. There's only so many ways to handle a personal subject such as this. Still, I toughed my way through it and even got a little misty eyed at the end, which I was surprised at. It's almost funny that this movie was only 84 minutes long but seemed like it took a full two hours (or longer) to watch.

** out of *****

Grace is Gone (2008, PG-13, 84 minutes) starring John Cusack, Shelan O'Keefe, Gracie Bednarczyk, Alessandro Nivola. The film was written and directed by James C. Strouse.



At 13 September, 2009 09:43, Blogger Blanche said...

Yep it did drag along for a short movie. Cusak acting was worth the watch. The progression of his character going from mundane and a bit boring to a man happy to spend time and get to know his daughters shows his range. Many critizied the end of the movie where they used the music to show the reaction. I loved it. No words needed to be heard when he finally let the secret go..

If you get the chance to see the film "Turtles can fly" I'd love to hear your critique on it..

At 13 September, 2009 22:10, Blogger Stephanie Faris said...

I didn't even realize this movie was out! It sounds intriguing. I have to say, I'm sure all of us would have a hard time in those circumstances. Maybe it's good he allowed his girls to have a few more youthful moments of innocence before he gave them news that changed them forever.


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