Gracie's Choice (TV Movie 2004)

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Gracie’s Choice: Directed by Peter Werner. With Kristen Bell, Diane Ladd, Shedrack Anderson III, Anne Heche. A teenage girl tries to raise her three half-brothers and one half-sister on her own after their drug-addicted mother is sent to jail.

“It is probably true that in the U.K. practically no-one will have heard of u0026quot;Gracieu0026#39;s Choiceu0026quot;. However in time, that situation will surely change. A good movie is a good movie, and this one is exceptionally acted, scripted, produced and directed.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s also pleasant to find that the director Peter Werner (who is new to me) treats his audience with the utmost intelligence, crafting this incredible true story into an unforgettable experience. Itu0026#39;s probably impossible for any emotionally well-adjusted person to fail to empathise with the main characteru0026#39;s plight. Kristen Bell, who holds the screen beautifully throughout, plays the eldest sibling Gracie in a large dysfunctional family. Responsibility for her half-siblings falls at an early age upon her shoulders. Gracieu0026#39;s mother Rowena (Anne Heche) is self-abusive, a druggie, probably alcoholic, and a neurotic nightmare. Any money that comes into their home needed for the children disappears on Rowenau0026#39;s indulgences, while her children are severely neglected. A succession of men (uncleu0026#39;s) enter and stay with Rowena, some of whom are in turn abusive to her, and also to young Gracie. Rowena moves from one chaotic relationship to the next. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eGracieu0026#39;s world becomes a long unrelenting nightmare, yet she provides the only strand of strength and determination that keep the young family together. Time passes and her awareness of Rowenau0026#39;s life-style and inability to cope with the children leads to irreparable damage and irreconcilable differences between daughter and mother. Having built that platform Peter Werner then leads the film along a new path, where the captivating Gracie gradually attempts to build a new life for them all. Without giving the game away this painful quest eventually comes at a price.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003e2004 has been a good year for film-goers. This wonderful film deserves to be up there alongside the likes of Million Dollar Baby. But one wonders whether film critics write-off new films without seeing them. In Britain, the influential Radio Times meanly awards this film two stars (out of 5). Impossible – itu0026#39;s doubtful they have ever seen this! For without a shadow of doubt u0026quot;Gracieu0026#39;s Choiceu0026quot; merits nothing less than 10 out 10. And happily for film buffs, Kristen Bell is destined for a long acting career at the very top.”


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