Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saving Grace B. Jones
Released March 28, 2009; DVD Releases May 27, 2014
1 hr 56 mins
Rated R
Drama, Suspense/Thriller


Connie Stevens

Penelope Ann Miller as Bea Bretthorse
Michael Biehn as Landy Bretthorse
Tatum O'Neal as Grace B. Jones
Evie Louise Thompson as Lucy Bretthorse
Piper Laurie as Marta
Joel Gretsch as Dan Jones
Scott Wilson as Reverend Potter
Tricia Leigh Fisher as Ella Jean Jones
Rylee Fansler as Carrie
Logan Alexander Moore as Sean Ryan
Charles Taylor (actor) as Davey Lund
Vincent Onofrio Monachino as Lem Bryerton
Karen Errington as Lynette Bryerton

Review by Stephen M.

Saving Grace B. Jones is a heart wrenching look at mental illness in the 1950s.  A woman returns to her brother and his family in a small town after being in an asylum for the last 20 years.  We see how ill-prepared the family and society is to handle her amid also a flood crisis that threatens the town.  

The movie starts off with several scenes that changes quickly which threw me off, not understanding who the characters were.  It's not until Landy (Michael Biehn) the baker along with his daughter Lucy (Evie Louise) and her friend Carrie (Rylee Fansler) journeys to the asylum to retrieve Landy's sister Grace (Tatum O'Neal) does the story start making sense.  There's a reason I would like to think,  for the side story of Carrie early on, and that is to show the contrast between her and Grace.  But the film often changes focus between the two that may seem trivial.  For example Lucy and friends wanting to join a "gospel" Baptist church.

When Grace returns home to her family her adjustments are difficult as she sees her once former fiancé now married and expecting a child.  Even so, things doesn't get worst until the unfortunate accident during a fishing trip.  All the while, rain continues to pound the small town as Landry and his neighbors try to shore up the riverbanks, shops and home.  This unfortunately leaves Grace often to herself when she shouldn't be.  Tatum O'Neal is just phenomenal as Grace.  She leads a very solid cast that has you endearing to the characters hoping for a happy outcome for everyone.  The set pieces especially in the beginning brings you back to a simpler time aided by the carefully researched references made.

Overall, I would recommend the film if you are into dramas and suspense/thrillers.  The ending is quite interesting and controversial at least taken into perspective of this day and age.  Aside from the Director's wandering side plots, the story of Grace itself is quite riveting and a must watch to see how things were handled in yesteryear compared to now. 


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