12 November 2008 | meeza
Have Grace on Cusack! Give this man an Oscar already!
My goodness gracious! John Cusack has to be one of the most underrated actors in the history of cinema. He has graced us with his witty banter and thespian charisma in such classics as "Say Anything", "High Fidelity", "Bullets Over Broadway", "The Grifters", "Being John Malkovich", and "Grosse Pointe Blank". To think that this legendary actor has never been nominated for an Oscar is unbearable to deal with! I accuse the Academy for having a case of the Cusack Snubbing Syndrome. In "Grace is Gone", the inevitable occurred again! Cusack delivered another worthy Oscar nominated performance and once again the Academy snubbed Johnny C. In the film, Cusack plays Stanley Phillips a home supply manager and father of two young girls. Stanley's wife Grace is a Sergeant in the U.S. Army who is killed in Iraq on duty. Stanley now has the painful duty of telling his young daughters Heidi & Dawn that their mom has passed. Stanley temporarily passes on the aforementioned duty, and decides instead to take his daughters on a road trip to their favorite amusement park "Enchanted Gardens". The acting of "Grace is Gone" was on duty! I already mentioned the brilliance of Cusack! In "Grace is Gone", he plays Stanley as a man who rightfully loves his country and believes in honoring your duty; but also as a loving father who authentically grieves for his wife's passing. Shelan O' Keefe and Gracie Bednarczyk also delivered genuine roles as the Phillips' girls. And I especially enjoyed another underrated actor Alessandro Nivola's performance as Stanley's anti-war but caring brother John. The only pitfall of "Grace is Gone" was its spontaneous dreary scenes. First time Writer-Director James Strouse's effort was somewhat commendable but it is evident that he is a rookie filmmaker, and in due time the disgrace of Strouse's overextended scenes will be gone in his signature direction. Nevertheless, I do recommend "Grace is Gone"! Why you ask? Mostly because of the Cusack! *** Average