Grace Is Gone
Grace Is Gone is a 2007 drama film starring John Cusack as a father who cannot bring himself to tell his two daughters that their mother, a soldier in the American army, has just been killed on a tour of duty in Iraq. On January 29, 2007, it won the Audience Award for Drama at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
|Grace Is Gone|
|Directed by||James C. Strouse|
|Written by||James C. Strouse|
|Edited by||Joe Klotz|
|Music by||Clint Eastwood|
|Distributed by||The Weinstein Company|
|Box office||$1.1 million|
The film was produced by Plum Pictures and New Crime Productions and purchased by Harvey Weinstein for distribution by The Weinstein Company. Weinstein announced plans to mount an Academy Award campaign on behalf of Cusack. This also marks the first time Clint Eastwood composed the score for a film which he did not write, direct or star in.
Stanley Phillips is a middle-aged Army veteran caring for his two daughters, 12-year-old Heidi and 8-year-old Dawn, while his wife, Grace, serves in Iraq. One morning, two Army officers visit his home and inform him that Grace has been killed in combat. In shock, Stanley dreads having to tell his daughters of their mother's death. When they come home from school, he tries to take them out to dinner and tell them afterward. Unable to, he instead spontaneously decides to take them on a road trip to Enchanted Gardens, a Florida theme park that the girls have been wanting to visit.
That evening, he calls his home to hear Grace's voice on their answering machine. The following morning, they arrive at Stanley's mother's house, who is out. Instead they find Stanley's younger brother, John. Stanley encourages the three to go out to lunch. During their absence, he finally breaks down and cries himself to sleep. Upon returning, John receives a call from a family friend expressing their condolences for Grace's death. John angrily confronts Stanley, demanding to know why he hasn't told the girls or anyone. Stanley rushes off, saying he will eventually.
The trio leave and later that day, stay at a motel. While Stanley is out of the room, Heidi calls her school to inform them that she and Dawn will be out for a few days. She notices her principal seems unusually sympathetic. The following afternoon at a gas station, Stanley calls their answering machine again, leaving a message saying he wished it'd been him that'd been deployed instead of Grace. Heidi asks who he was speaking to and grows suspicious after Stanley tells her he was talking to her teacher at the school.
That evening, the three arrive at Enchanted Gardens. At their hotel, Heidi calls home and hears Stanley's message to Grace, growing even more suspicious. The next day, the three spend their time at the park, having the most fun since Grace departed for Iraq. Stanley is reluctant to leave as he knows he will soon have to tell them of Grace's death. He takes the girls to a nearby beach and finally informs them that Grace has died. The three embrace and mourn her as the sun sets.
Heidi writes a eulogy and reads it aloud at Grace's funeral. The film's final scene is of Stanley, Heidi and Dawn at her grave.
In September 2007 it was shown at the Telluride Film Festival, the Deauville Festival of American Cinema in France, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. It has also been shown at the Savannah Film and Video Festival, Starz Denver Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, and Gijón International Film Festival in Spain. Grace is Gone opened in limited release in the United States on December 7, 2007, playing in 4 theaters.
The film also was featured in the 2007 Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 62% based on 74 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A refreshing departure from the current crop of Iraq war dramas, Grace is Gone is a heartfelt, finely acted portrayal of grief and healing." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The music in the film received two Golden Globe nominations by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the 65th Golden Globe Awards. Clint Eastwood was nominated for Best Original Score, while the song "Grace is Gone" with music by Eastwood and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager was nominated for Best Original Song. It won the Satellite Award for Best Song at the 12th Satellite Awards.
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- "Grace Is Gone (2007) – Release dates". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- "Grace Is Gone (2007) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- "Grace is Gone – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "Grace Is Gone (2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- "HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007". goldenglobes.org. 2007-12-13. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-13.