Grace Is Gone
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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.

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.


  • John Cusack as Stanley Phillips
  • Alessandro Nivola as John Phillips
  • Gracie Bednarczyk as Dawn Phillips
  • Shélan O Keefe as Heidi Phillips
  • Dana Lynne Gilhooley as Grace Phillips
  • Marisa Tomei as Woman at Pool
  • Mary Kay Place as Woman at Funeral


In May 2006, John Cusack and Marisa Tomei were revealed to star in Grace is Gone, written and directed by James C. Strouse. Filming took place in Chicago, Illinois and wrapped that month after lasting six weeks.


The film premiered January 20, 2007, at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

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.

Critical response

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.

Year 2007
ReleaseDate 2008-01-10
RuntimeMins 85
RuntimeStr 1h 25min
Plot Upon hearing his wife was killed in the Iraq war, a father takes his two daughters on a road trip.
Awards Awards, 4 wins & 7 nominations
Directors Jim Strouse
Writers Jim Strouse
Stars John Cusack, Emily Churchill, Rebecca Spence
Produced by Carina Alves,Paul Bernstein,Roberta Burrows,John Cusack,Doug Dearth,Demetra Diamantopoulos,Marilyn Haft,Wes Jones,Jessica Levin,Grace Loh,Riva Marker,Galt Niederhoffer,Celine Rattray,Vail Romeyn,Reagan Silber,Jai Stefan,Daniela Taplin Lundberg,Todd Traina
Music by Clint Eastwood
Cinematography by Jean-Louis Bompoint
Film Editing by Joe Klotz
Casting By Mickie Paskal,Jennifer Rudnicke
Production Design by Susan Block
Art Direction by Lissette Schettini
Set Decoration by Tanja Deshida
Costume Design by Ha Nguyen
Makeup Department Karen Brody,Christina Carlson,Lisa Jelic,Rosalind Jones-Crosby,Denise Wynbrandt
Production Management Demetra Diamantopoulos,Michael Jackman,Michelle Krumm,Riva Marker,Vail Romeyn
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Donald Dowd,Michelle Gonsiorek,Stephanie Moore,Curtis Smith
Art Department Krystin Auriemma,Ian Bock,Chris Cleek,Dean DeMatteis,Suzanne Kofke,Jenna McDanold,Merje Veski,Ricky Nachbar
Sound Department Michael Barry,Shaun Brennan,Karl Dondlinger,Rusty Dunn,Tom Efinger,Michael Feuser,Jaimie Johnson,Michael Minkler,John Moros,David Obermeyer,Abigail Savage,Nicholas Schenck,Ian Stynes,Kevin J. Summers
Visual Effects by John Bair,Camille Geier,Karin Levinson,Jim Rider
Stunts Natalie M. Meyer,Carl Paoli,Jodi Starnes
Camera and Electrical Department Jonathan Clark,Shannon DeWolfe,Fred Folmer,Zachary Gannaway,Bob Gomez,Steven Hiller,Charles S. Hodes,Morgan Michael Lewis,David Morenz,William R. Nielsen Jr.,Keith Pokorski,Stuart Slack,Jeff Tomcho
Casting Department Matt Miller,Rebecca Norris,Jessica Remis,Kat White
Costume and Wardrobe Department Rose Alexander,Patrick Caulfield,Molly McConnaughy,Kimberly Merlin
Editorial Department Jason Barnes,Pete Conlin,Matthew H. Giordano,Jonathan Hoffman,Paloma Mele,Brian Reali,Michael Smollin,Renannah Weinstein,Keith Croket
Location Management Raul Esparza III,Dominic Markiewicz,Stefan Nikolov,Sherrill Smith,Andreas Zachai
Music Department Jean-Michel Bernard,Doug Bernheim,Joel Cox,Doug Dearth,Kyle Eastwood,Graeme Flowers,Angela Leus,Andrew McCormack,Bruno Mercere,Michael Stevens
Script and Continuity Department Amy Sobin,Kathryn Waters
Transportation Department David Morales,Bob ‘Smitty’ Smith
Additional Crew Philip Alberstat,Chidem Alie,Krystin Auriemma,Rudra Banerji,Jeno Delli Colli,Elliott Eisman,Sara Ellingen,Erin Heidenreich,Kenneth Johnson,Shaun Kendall,Ross L. Kulma,Matt Landon,Sara Lane,Kevin Lawn,Holly Lee,Aurelie Levy,Aine McAteer,Dale McKeel,Terry Mettger,Kim ‘Corkey’ Miller,Fred Moyse,Ricky Nachbar,Margaret J. Orlando,Rosemary Orlando,Natasha Parker,Diane Perry,Stefan Rand,Paul Ruffolo,Jenny Shields,AnneMarie Spizuoco,Emily Strange,Saul Villarruel,Whit Vogel
Thanks Casey Affleck,Steve Buscemi,Matthew Dixon,Mike Eisner,Joyce Hiller Piven,Regina Spektor
Genres Drama, War
Companies Plum Pictures, The Weinstein Company, New Crime Productions
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG-13
ImDbRating 6.7
ImDbRatingVotes 9439
MetacriticRating 65
Keywords road trip,amusement park,death of loved one,death,eulogy