24/7 MOMS

Friday, September 16, 2011

Movie Review - The Grace Card

The Grace Card Review
by : Karen Pecots
24/7 MOMS Movie Reviewer
August 16, 2011 marked the film release on DVD for The Grace Card directed by filmmaker, David G. Evans. Evans takes the screenplay by Howard Klausner and collaborates with seasoned actors Michael Joiner, Mike Higgenbottom and Louis Gossett Jr. to present ramifications of a life marked by grace or not. Klausner’s words and storyline communicate a process necessary to have a life where grace is not only evident but abounds.  The cast eloquently portrays Klausner’s vision and reason why a lifestyle marked by grace is complex especially without loved ones to help carry each other’s burdens.

Klausner takes a traditional African word to describe family in the opening scene of his script. Evans directs the visual imagery to expound on the definition as the backdrop for The Grace Card. The definition is twofold that describes the meaning, as well as, a feeling. Narrated to beautiful cinematography and thoughtful music the definition explains, “The creator (God) made us for one another to be connected as a family which is the essence of being human. To hurt is to hurt us all; to reach out to one another and take care of one another is to care for us all.”  

The Memphis Police force is making personnel changes and pair up two unlikely seasoned officers, Bill “MAC” McDonald (Michael Joiner) and Sam “Preacher” Wright (Mike Higgenbottom)  for patrol duty. Neither officer is happy about the arrangement especially MAC. He begrudges the fact that Sam just beat him out of a needed promotion and is in no mood to be partnered with a preacher for eight hours a day. MAC is happy to wallow in his ill feelings but his resentment about the promotion is only part of his woes. His emotional pain and false guilt to reckon with began fifteen years early with the accidental death of this first born son. Guilt carried for too long is now the cause of a broken relationship with his second son.
Sam is thankful for the monetary raise but not happy about the promotion because with the reward comes more responsibilities. His part-time job on the police force is only temporary until the church he pastors can afford to pay him a full-time salary. Sam is frustrated that God is giving him more blessings as a cop than in his position as a preacher. Sam is not happy to be partnered with a mean-spirited bigot; but, Sam’s attitude sinks just as much as MAC’s only for reasons that are worlds apart. Sam continues to hang on to bitterness spurred from his own father. Sam’s grandpa George (Louis Gossett Jr.) gives him advice that causes serious contemplation. Grandpa George also gives Sam a family bible for comfort. Tucked inside its pages Sam discovers a hand-written piece of paper called the grace card.
Day after day, MAC and Sam try to tip-toe around each other’s emotional pain with minimal conversation.  Sam is forced to cover for MAC’s inability to respond appropriately to a domestic violence situation leaving MAC embarrassed and down trodden. Sam takes the opportunity to use the grace card on MAC which is a promise of three things: 1) To pray for him every day, 2) To ask for forgiveness, 3) To grant him to do the same and be his friend always. Sam begins to confess his own issues with MAC that opens a door for the two to grow in their relationship and attain mutual respect for one another and eventually desire to have each other’s back both on and off the job -- a bond of resilient  family ties they both desire.

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