Grace is Gone (2007)

Genre(s): Drama
Weinstein Company || PG13 - 84 minutes - $24.95 || May 27, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-06-05


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: James C. Strouse
Writer(s): James C. Strouse (written by)
Cast:


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • A Conversation on Grace
  • Inspiration for Grace is Gone
  • Profile of TAPS
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Grace is Gone is an emotional film that is sure to pull on a few heart strings and at the very least leave you with a lump in your throat.

The film stars John Cusack as Stanley Phillips, an average man who is raising his two young daughters, Heidi (Shélan O'Keefe) and Dawn (Gracie Bednarczyk), while his wife, Grace, is stationed in Iraq fighting for our country. One morning Stanley awakes to find two men in uniforms at his door who inform him that his wife, Grace, has died overseas. Unable to break the news to his daughters, he decides to do anything they want to do, which unfortunately for him, requires a cross-country trip to Enchanted Gardens.

The problem with this film is that we know the entire time what the conclusion of the film is going to be and its tough watching Stanley go through these emotions without telling his daughters. The eldest, Heidi, starts to catch on and understand something is wrong and the youngest Dawn yearns for some sort of mother-figure.

John Cusack breaks out of character from his typical type-cast roles and instead plays a father who, towards the end of the movie, is losing it emotionally. It was a nice change of pace to see Cusack doing something other than his usual shtick (romantic comedy). Considering Cusack is the Producer of the film, it’s no wonder he is giving it his all in hopes the film would get picked up theatrically.

It's hard not to like Grace, but at the same time it’s a film that is sure to put you in a depressing mood. Too often Stanley and his daughters are put in emotional situations and it feels a bit uncomfortable to watch.

After the tremendous build-up of the film the ending is a bit of a disappointment for me. While we know all along Stanley is going to have to eventually tell his daughters of their mother's death, I think it could have been handled a bit better, for at least the viewer’s sake.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

A Conversation on Grace (7:02) - A short fluff piece that go into the production of Grace as well as some interviews with the cast members. Inspiration for Grace is Gone (6:41) - A look at the family that inspired the movie. This is incredibly depressing and I'm somewhat glad they didn't use too much of this as the base for the film. The film was depressing enough, but this family...wow. Profile of TAPS (A Tragedy Assistance Program) (3:25) - A brief synopsis on what the program is and how it can help those with a tragedy in their life. Disc also includes the theatrical trailer (2:20).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Grace is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio of 1.78:1. A very clean transfer with a few instances of heavy grain. I was actually a bit surprised by this transfer since for the most part its very clean. I did notice a few slight instances of edge enhancement.

Genius Productions has included an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The film is very dialog heavy so there are not a whole lot of times where you will hear anything from your rear speakers. The instrumental music here, by Clint Eastwood (yeah, that Clint Eastwood), is amazing.



.::OVERALL::.

Grace is Gone is an emotional roller coaster and while I enjoyed the film, its definitely not for everyone. Be prepared to watch the film with a box of tissues because trust me, you'll need them.