Grace is Gone

Grace is Gone

4.0 2
Director: James C. Strouse

Cast: James C. Strouse, John Cusack, Shélan O'Keefe, Gracie Bednarczyk

     
 
The contemplative, understated tearjerker Grace Is Gone dramatizes the quiet crisis that befalls Stanley (John Cusack), a young Midwestern husband of a female marine stationed in Iraq, and a father of two girls. Suddenly and unexpectedly widowed when his wife, Grace, is killed on the battlefield, Stanley cannot bring himself to share the devastating news with

Overview

The contemplative, understated tearjerker Grace Is Gone dramatizes the quiet crisis that befalls Stanley (John Cusack), a young Midwestern husband of a female marine stationed in Iraq, and a father of two girls. Suddenly and unexpectedly widowed when his wife, Grace, is killed on the battlefield, Stanley cannot bring himself to share the devastating news with his two young daughters. In lieu of speaking to them immediately about their mother's death, Stanley internalizes his devastation and takes the girls on a road trip while he attempts to sort through a myriad of conflicted and tumultuous internal feelings about the war itself and contemplates how to break the shattering news. Inevitably, the road trip will end with Grace's funeral. This film represents the brainchild of producer/star Cusack and writer/director James C. Strouse. It began with Cusack's fury about the Bush administration's policy banning footage of caskets returning from the Iraq and Afghani wars, and his desire to see those events played out onscreen, in the lives of American citizens.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A fundamentally small and intimate film, Grace Is Gone may be remembered more for failing to achieve the larger expectations that burden it than for successfully doing what it sets out to do. James C. Strouse's film won the audience award at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. But when it couldn't generate the ticket sales to justify its purchase price, it served as a major cautionary tale for Sundance buyers the following year -- who demonstrated newfound disbelief that this insider's festival could predict wider viewing trends. Grace Is Gone also suffered from its status as another drama dealing with the consequences of the Iraq War, in a season when audiences were bypassing such movies by the bushel. But those who saw it witnessed a deeply internal lead performance from John Cusack, and heartbreaking turns by the two young actresses playing his daughters (Shélan O'Keefe and Gracie Bednarczyk). The mere idea of their mother's mortality scares them to death, and since the audience knows they'll soon have to cope with the actual fact of it, each scene is pregnant with eventual mourning. Cusack sheds all vanity to assume the role of a bespectacled working Joe with a limp, a man whose unwavering patriotism makes his private grieving all the more complicated. His impromptu road trip to an amusement park, more than a day's drive from home, may have made the film tougher to swallow -- it's hard not to feel stressed, wondering how it will all turn out, and whether the girls would really remain in the dark in the face of such erratic parental behavior. But viewers who accept Strouse's choices will probably also agree that when the truth will change everything, fighting to keep innocence alive -- for just a little while longer -- is about the most parental instinct there is.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2008
UPC:
0796019811729
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Weinstein Company
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:24:00

Special Features

A conversation on Grace; Inspiration for Grace Is Gone; Profile of TAPS, a Tragedy Assistance Program; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Stanley Phillips
Shélan O'Keefe Heidi Phillips
Gracie Bednarczyk Dawn Phillips
Alessandro Nivola John Phillips

Technical Credits
James C. Strouse Director,Screenwriter
Carina Alves Associate Producer
Doug Bernheim Musical Direction/Supervision
Paul Bernstein Executive Producer
Susan Block Production Designer
Jean-Louis Bompoint Cinematographer
Roberta Burrows Co-producer
John Cusack Producer
Doug Dearth Associate Producer,Co-producer
Demetra Diamantopoulos Co-producer
Rusty Dunne Sound/Sound Designer
Clint Eastwood Score Composer
Marilyn Haft Co-producer
Ed Hart Executive Producer
Wes Jones Associate Producer
Joe Klotz Editor
Jessica Levin Co-producer
Grace Loh Producer
Bruce Lunsford Executive Producer
Riva Marker Co-producer
Ha Nguyen Costumes/Costume Designer
Ha Nguyen Costumes/Costume Designer
Galt Niederhoffer Producer
David Obermeyer Sound/Sound Designer
Tenner, Rudnicke Pascal Casting
Celine Rattray Producer
Max Richter Score Composer
Lissette Schettini Art Director
Reagan Silber Executive Producer
Curtis Smith Asst. Director
Jai Stefan Executive Producer
Daniela Taplin-Lundberg Producer
Todd Traina Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Grace Is Gone
1. Home Store [4:55]
2. I was in the Shower [7:21]
3. What If We Did? [6:07]
4. A Call Home [2:42]
5. Something Fun [4:54]
6. You're Not Upset? [6:01]
7. Her Time of Day [5:53]
8. What's Going On? [6:12]
9. Let's Split One [6:45]
10. All Grown Up [2:48]
11. Anybody Home? [5:26]
12. The Definition of Duty [4:29]
13. Mission Accomplished [4:27]
14. Enchanted Gardens [4:58]
15. I Need to Tell You Something [4:21]
16. Grace Ann Phillips [2:08]
17. Is It Time? [:24]
18. Credits [5:10]

Videos

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Grace is Gone 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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