Monday, June 09, 2008

Grace Is Gone

Grace Is Gone

War sucks. I think most of us can agree on that. Not only does it affect the people at war, but also the families left behind. There are rare instances when a film can make a statement on a topic like this without turning it into a Hollywood blockbuster. Grace Is Gone is that kind of film as it deals in an honest way with the tragedy that comes with war. The tragedy here is that a mom who serves in the military dies in battle, leaving behind a husband Stanley (John Cusack) and two daughters. I usually shy away from movies like these because they are very hard to watch. I can deal with horror, but sentimental ones like this get to me. However, a film like this is important because it's relevant to what's going on around us. Although the film does make a subtle statement about war, it speaks on other themes as well. One theme it touches on is how to deal with grief when tragedy strikes. Unable to face the horrible news that his wife has died, Stanley takes his two daughters on a road trip instead of telling them what happened. He basically sticks his head in the sand and tries to shut out the truth. However, that can only last so long, especially when you see him calling home and leaving messages for his deceased wife on the answering machine as if she were alive. It's the scenes like this that really tear you apart as you think of how difficult it is to deal with something like that. John Cusack made his character seem so real as he portrayed the extreme pain and sadness of someone who lost his wife. What's even more sad is that the two daughters have no clue their mother is gone, yet they can sense something is wrong with dad. That's something Stanley will have to face later on since he has to tell them eventually. Grace Is Gone is a very moving film that might have you reaching for a box of Kleenex after watching. Like I said, it's hard to go through, but it says some important things about life that we sometimes need to be reminded of.

Grace Is Gone is out now on DVD.

Special Features included are:
- A Conversation on Grace Is Gone director James Strouse and Cusack
- Inspiration of Grace Is Gone – the real story
- Profile of TAPS – the organization that provides support for people that have lost loved ones to war

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