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Archive for March 28th, 2009

#1529: Grace

I have been waiting for Grace for a long time.

grace

I had heard wonderful things about Grace for a while and when I realized it was screening at AFI Dallas this week, I snapped up three tickets for the night of my birthday.   Two of my friends and I went and while I managed to embarrass myself in front of the director and Jordan Ladd (you can read about that at the end of this), Grace was phenomenal.

As you can guess from the poster, Grace is a horror movie but it’s one of the rare ones that I think can transcend the label.    Madeline Matheson (Jordan Ladd) is a woman who’s interested in things outside the mainstream:   she eats a vegan diet, relies on homeopathic medicine and watches slaughterhouse documentaries while cooking.   “It’s like a vegan horror movie,” she says to her friend of said documentaries.  Her husband is a nice guy named Michael who has a domineering mother, the kind of lady who scolds her husband constantly and lectures Madeline on the right way to do things while insulting her cooking.    Vivian, the mother-in-law, is mortified when Madeline informs her that she will be having her baby with a midwife…and not in a hospital.

Everything about baby Grace’s arrival is unnatural:   Michael and Madeline used fertility treatments for years to conceive, only to stop the treatments and almost a year later, Madeline gets pregnant.   A freak health problem leads Madeline to the hospital, only to have a terrible car accident on the way home.  Michael is killed and Grace, it appears, is dead in utero. Madeline makes the difficult choice of finishing out her pregnancy and giving birth to Grace.   When she does give birth, Grace miraculously revives and begins breathing and crying.   Madeline views it as a miracle.   The midwife’s assistants are scared.   No one can explain how Grace is alive.

grace1

I borrowed this from Cinematical. Uh...don't sue me. Please. Thanks.

Just like her arrival in the world, Grace is no ordinary baby.   She attracts swarms of flies.   Madeline can barely nurse her as Grace vomits everything right back up.  What should be a sweet mother-daughter bonding moment at bathtime turns into a nightmare as Grace breaks out in a rash and begins bleeding.   Grace is a normal looking baby with some abnormal problems, but Madeline’s distrust of modern medicine develops into downright fear.  Afraid of doctors and modern medicine, Madeline refuses to take her to the hospital.   She views Grace as “special”, Madeline’s own little miracle, and won’t hear of any doctors being involved.

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