Picks and Pans Review: Grace & Glorie
To be deeply moving, a film must be credible on some level. That's why the well-acted Grace & Glorie failed to touch us as intended.
Despite the efforts of reliable Gena Rowlands, we didn't buy the character of Grace, a stubborn, terminally ill senior citizen who leaves a nursing home to live out her remaining days on the family farm, which is being gobbled up by a dishonest land developer. Grace has a regular visitor in Gloria (Diane Lane), a hospice volunteer who left behind her big-city life after suffering a personal tragedy (details of which are revealed gradually). Gloria, whom Grace calls Glorie (inspired by a gospel song called "Grace and Glory"), understandably has trouble grasping the older woman's reasons for refusing to make a will (money is "the root of all evil") or eat anything cooked with electricity (it "tastes funny"). But the two find a common bond and share a few moments of genuine emotion. Unfortunately this Hallmark Hall of Fame entry alternates metronomically between sad and happy scenes, as if the filmmakers feared the audience couldn't handle too much feeling at one time.
Bottom Line: Not a glorious drama