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Grace Is Gone
Grace Is Gone
Actors: John Cusack, Emily Churchill, Rebecca Spence, Jennifer Tyler, Susan Messing
Director: James C. Strouse
Genres: Drama
PG-13     2008     1hr 25min

In one of his most acclaimed performances, John Cusack makes an astonishing transformation as Stanley Philips, a sad, disconnected man unable to tell his young daughters their mother, a soldier, has died in Iraq. Instead, ...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: John Cusack, Emily Churchill, Rebecca Spence, Jennifer Tyler, Susan Messing
Director: James C. Strouse
Creators: Doug Dearth, James C. Strouse, Carina Alves, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Demetra Diamantopoulos, Galt Niederhoffer
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Family Life
Studio: Weinstein Company
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/27/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Elizabeth B. (bethieof96) from NINETY SIX, SC
Reviewed on 5/17/2013...
Interesting movie. John Cusack plays a good part in raising his two daughters.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Angie V. from DANVILLE, VA
Reviewed on 1/14/2013...
It's a sad story of how a father tries to deal with his wife's death. Definitely not my favorite John Cusack movie.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Tzipora K. (shorty20) from BROOKLYN, NY
Reviewed on 1/21/2011...
John Cusack plays it very well.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Steven H. (sehamilton) from BIRMINGHAM, AL
Reviewed on 5/31/2010...
Reserved, understated film dealing with the impact upon the family of a spouse's death in war. Cusack gives a wonderful, heartbreaking performance as the surviving spouse who can't bring himself to inform his two daughters of their mother's death. The two young actresses are perfect in their roles. There is no action in this film; no war-time footage of soldiers in combat. An incredible character study that brings the human cost of war to a deeply intimate, personal level. Well-worth seeing.
6 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Grace is gone
Mark Daniels | slippery rock, PA | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a beautiful film about how a family must adjust once it has experienced a painful loss. this past week, a colleague of mine lost his only child, his daughter, in an accident. he and his wife will somehow have to adjust to living without her, being a pair instead of a three some. I dont know how they will do it - I cant imagine the journey they are on. This film is about that journey, one none of us would choose to take. This is what grace is gone is about: the family affected by loss is a dad, and his two daughters. They live in a struggling middle class life, without amenities, and mom is serving in Iraq. Dad was in the army too, but his eyesight became too bad and he was discharged. This is a patriotic couple - they met while both were serving in the army. he finds out his wife, grace, is killed in action. he has to tell his daughters, but he doesnt know how, because he cant imagine living without Grace...he takes his daughters on a road trip and along the way, the three adjust to life as a three some without mom. Of course, at the end, he has to tell his daughters what has happened. No spoilers here. The movie is beautiful. Well acted. Clint Eastwood wrote the music (!?) this is not anti war, this is not michael friggin Moore crap - it is a story about loss, and hope and...well, grace. I have read lots of negative reviews from hyper jingoists about how this film is anti war, anti bush etc - no, its about loss and continuing to live. I have know people who have experienced loss, and have not gone on: I remember a couple who lost their teenage son in an accident many years ago, they were always outside working on their house, their yard, their christmas displays, always with their son, and after the accident, the shades were drawn the yard went to hell, no christmas display and I never saw them outside again - they shut down. The dad in this movie cant shut down - he has a big responsibility to his wife to be a good dad and raise their children. Absolutely brilliant movie - Johnny Cusack is amazing.



"
"I Regret To Inform You ~ I Did Everything I Wanted To Do"
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 06/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Synposis: The '07 release `Grace Is Gone' is an exceedingly sad story of one families loss when Grace, a wife and mother is killed during a military engagement in Iraq. Upon receiving uniformed visitors and hearing those dreaded words, "I regret to inform you..." her husband Stanely (John Cusack) finds himself unable to deal with his own emotions, not to mention those of his two young daughters, twelve year old Heidi (Shelan O'Keefe) and eight year old Dawn (Gracie Bednarcyk).

He decides to take them on a road trip to a place of their choice. Little Gracie wants to go to "Enchanted Garden", an amusement park several days away by car. The journey that ensues becomes a metaphor for the grieving process as Stanley learns to reconnect with his children and find a way to share the bad news. Is he just avoiding the inevitable, or will their time together somehow ease the pain to come teach them to appreciate what they still have, each other?

Critique: John Cusack proves once again that there isn't any role he cannot excel in and the thoughtful, reserved Shelan O'Keefe along with the irrepressible Gracie Bednarcyk are the perfect compliement for this little family unit adrift in a sea of pending grief. This is definitely a mood movie, so if you're not in the mood for a slowly unfolding, somber journey of finding center and re-connect with life this isn't the film for you. However if you've lost a loved one in the military or just in a quiet, reflective space and open to the subject matter `Grace Is Gone' is the film for you."
"Over There" is definitely felt "Over Here"
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 07/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Looking for a good tear-jerker? You could hardly find one better than GRACE IS GONE. Topical. Family oriented. It is something of a surprising role for John Cusack who started his career with low-brow comedies (Better Off Dead and One Crazy Summer). But this independent gem shows that Cusack has the wherewithal to spot a solid, dramatic part and run with it. Although Cusack has done some off-and-on stand-up work, things like The Ice Harvest and Pushing Tin were a bit thin on character. But not so here.

And, even more surprising, the film brings two unknowns to play alongside Cusack. The two are also very young girls who show that Dakota Fanning (Charlotte's Web) isn't the only young gal who can act her heart out. Shélan O'Keefe stars as Heidi Phillips, Stanley Phillips' (Cusack's) eldest daughter and does so with astonishing ...um ...grace. Trying to find her way into adolescence while watching her father implode is quite nicely portrayed. Her first attempts at smoking and her nighttime wanderings are something many parents will be able to identify with.

Stanley's younger daughter Dawn is played by newcomer Gracie Bednarczyk, and her portions where she's jousting with her older sister are spot on. Not understanding what's happening to their family is significant in that someone of her age truly wouldn't know. But the suspicions of her elder sister set her on edge ...just a tad.

Grace is Gone is a very good war film. And by war I mean a film that focuses on its impact on the home-front. When Stanley (Cusack) learns of his wife's death in Iraq, it takes some mental juggling for him to come to terms with what that means for him and his two young daughters. This is the crux of the story. When Stanley can't release the information to his kids, he hides it by taking them to a fun theme park many miles away. It seems he wants his kids to have fun before breaking the worst news of their lives to them ...and, in a sense, re-breaking it to himself. Stanley loses sight of what he needs to do, and even becomes a bit delusional (he calls his own home to tell his dead-wife that he and the kids are okay, etc.).

The gut-wrenching scene when Stanley MUST tell the kids what happened to their mother is one of the hardest things any parent will ever have to watch. The musical score comes up over the voice of Stanley and we don't get to hear everything he says, which we don't need to; we can see it on the childrens' faces. A truly powerful moment that will linger with you for many days, if not weeks.

It is noteworthy to mention how topical this film is since the war in Iraq seems far from over. Men and women continue to die "over there" and when that might end is anyone's guess. But one thing is for certain, the traumas felt "over there" definitely ripple "over to here". And that's something that this film shows us exceptionally well."