Saturday, January 17, 2009

Grace is Gone. C+


Grace is gone, two army members inform Stanley Philipps (John Cusack) one day. Stanley's two daughters, Heidi (Shelan O'Keefe) and Dawn (Gracie Bednarczyk) are still at school, so they don't know about the news. When they come home Stanley is prepared to tell them but he finds it too hard and instead tells them that they will be going on a trip to an amusement park in Flordia. Hedi, nearly thirteen, is a bit suspicious, but Dawn, who is only eight, is as excited as can be. So the movie unfolds as the family goes on an emotional journey during which Stanley becomes more attached than ever to his daughters. The movie is so typical that it can be difficult to watch at times. We know exactly how it is going to play out and when it does we don't feel that much different than we did when we read the synopsis of the film on the back of the DVD case. Now there are still a few things to like about the movie, such as Cusack's fine performance and Clint Eastwood's melodramatic score. There was an attempt to add depth to Heidi's character, and in a way it worked, but it also felt odd and almost out of place. The younger sister, Dawn, perhaps had a few too many lines as well, but that is only my opinion. In all this is very entertaining sentimental drama even if it doesn't pull of its desired effect.

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