Iraq War tearjerker “Grace Is Gone” never gained traction at the box office, grossing a paltry $107,435 worldwide following a late 2007 release. The film has its faults, certainly, but deserved a better fate. The Weinstein Co. is now hoping that those who didn’t see “Grace” in theaters — and that’s practically everyone — will catch the DVD and share in the grief of this devastated family.
TWC doesn’t seem to have much confidence in the potential homevid sales however, as the cheaply made packaging attests. Monotone cover art has a Hallmark movie-of-the-week feel with, count ’em, four shots of Cusack and the kids, plus quotes from Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper admiring Cusack’s perf.
There’s no audio commentary and the special features include only one original piece, the seven-minute “A Conversation on Grace,” in which writer-director James C. Strouse, Cusack and the rest of the cast share their thoughts. As a father with two daughters, Strouse explains he was drawn to the family aspect of the story and laments the countless lives changed forever after a soldier dies in service.
The other two short features are courtesy of the Pentagon Channel. “The Inspiration for ‘Grace Is Gone'” tells the true story of Warren Pellegrin, whose wife, Navy Lt. Corinne Pellegrin, fell ill while at sea and died, leaving Warren the difficult task of explaining to his kids that their mom had passed away. Warren recounts getting a phone call from Cusack and how the actor explained that he wanted to humanize the role, so the two talked about the painful experience of losing a loved one.
“Profile of TAPS: A Tragedy Assistance Program” is a brief report about the national organization for survivors of family members killed while in the military. The program brings together different family members to talk about their similar circumstances.
Final special feature is the theatrical trailer.