"Dealing Gracefully with Tragedy"
What You Need To Know:
GRACE IS GONE is a quietly powerful, emotional, pro-family movie about handling an ultimate loss. The acting is compelling and believable. It will touch many viewers deeply. In one scene, Stanley has an argument about the Iraq War with his brother, John. John takes the anti-war side, but Stanley supports his wife’s decision to defend liberty and her country. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of some brief strong foul language and the subject matter.
(C, BB, P, LL, V, D, M) Light Christian worldview with strong moral elements and American protagonist defends his wife’s decision to serve her country and the cause of liberty as a soldier when younger brother attacks Iraq War, plus implied Christian funeral with patriotic comments about service; five obscenities (including two uses of “f” words, one of which is rebuked), three strong profanities and two light profanities; light violence in one scene when young girls fight in car; no sex scenes but soldier’s wife mentions having phone sex with husband during support group session and 12 year-old-girl talks with young boy about her age or a year older; no nudity; no alcohol use; smoking and father gets daughter to stop trying smoking by pretending to cough a lot while he smokes with her; and, father delays telling daughters about mother’s death and lets 8-year-old get her ears pierced.
GRACE IS GONE is another movie dealing with the Iraq War, albeit peripherally, but it handles the politics of the situation with more balance than previous movies. That’s because the movie is not really about the politics of that war, but is instead a story about how the husband of a female soldier, especially one with children, might handle the sudden death of his wife overseas.
John Cusack plays Stanley Phillips, who met his wife, Grace, while both served in the military. Stanley was discharged, however, because of poor eyesight, but Grace now serves in Iraq. Stanley is left taking care of their two daughters, Heidi, age 12, and Dawn, age 8. Although a loving father, Stanley lacks the nurturing skills of Grace, so Heidi and Dawn miss their mother a lot.
One day, with the girls gone off to school, and Stanley getting ready to leave for his job at a home supply store, two soldiers visit Stanley. They tell him that Grace has been killed.
Stanley despondently stays home that day. When Heidi and Dawn return from school, he decides not to tell them about their mother but take them out instead. Longing to give his children their last moments of innocence, he suddenly decides to drive them to Florida to visit Dawn’s favorite amusement park, Enchanted Gardens. Along the way, they visit their grandmother’s house, only to find Stanley’s younger brother John.
As Stanley bonds more closely with his daughters, he delays the inevitable task of changing their lives forever.
GRACE IS GONE is a quietly powerful, compelling story about handling an ultimate loss. The acting is compelling and believable. It is an emotional pro-family movie that will touch many viewers deeply. In one scene, Stanley has an argument about the Iraq War with his brother, John. John takes the anti-war side, but Stanley supports his wife’s decision to defend liberty and her country. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of brief strong foul language and the subject matter.