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 collaborateswith seasoned actors Michael Joiner, Mike Higgenbottom and Louis Gossett Jr. topresent ramifications of a life marked by grace or not. Klausner’s words andstoryline communicate a process necessary to have a life where grace is notonly evident but abounds.  The casteloquently portrays Klausner’s vision and reason why a lifestyle marked bygrace is complex especially without loved ones to help carry each other’sburdens.

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

The Memphis Police force is making personnel changesand 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 thearrangement especially MAC. He begrudges the fact that Sam just beat him out ofa needed promotion and is in no mood to be partnered with a preacher for eighthours a day. MAC is happy to wallow in his ill feelings but his resentmentabout the promotion is only part of his woes. His emotional pain and falseguilt to reckon with began fifteen years early with the accidental death ofthis first born son. Guilt carried for too long is now the cause of a brokenrelationship with his second son.
Sam is thankful for the monetary raise but not happyabout the promotion because with the reward comes more responsibilities. Hispart-time job on the police force is only temporary until the church he pastorscan afford to pay him a full-time salary. Sam is frustrated that God is givinghim more blessings as a cop than in his position as a preacher. Sam is nothappy to be partnered with a mean-spirited bigot; but, Sam’s attitude sinks justas much as MAC’s only for reasons that are worlds apart. Sam continues to hangon to bitterness spurred from his own father. Sam’s grandpa George (LouisGossett Jr.) gives him advice that causes serious contemplation. Grandpa Georgealso gives Sam a family bible for comfort. Tucked inside its pages Sam discoversa hand-written piece of paper called the grace card.
Day after day, MAC and Sam try to tip-toe around eachother’s emotional pain with minimal conversation.  Sam is forced to cover for MAC’s inability to respond appropriatelyto a domestic violence situation leaving MAC embarrassed and down trodden. Sam takesthe opportunity to use the grace card on MAC which is a promise of threethings: 1) To pray for him every day, 2) To ask for forgiveness, 3) To grant himto do the same and be his friend always. Sam begins to confess his own issueswith MAC that opens a door for the two to grow in their relationship and attainmutual respect for one another and eventually desire to have each other’s backboth on and off the job — a bond of resilient  family ties they both desire.

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