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Hurry to catch 'The Grace Card'

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 10:48 AM

(Photo)
Mac McDonald (Michael Joiner), whose bitter and hateful nature is distancing him from his family and society as a whole, finds himself paired with a younger black officer Sam Wright (Michael Higgenbottom), who is promoted to sergeant in the Memphis Police department, a position Mac was seeking.
This movie isn't for everybody. But it should be.

"The Grace Card" is another in the line of the films created by a Christian group with a special message. Those who base their dislike for another person strictly on skin color, you probably won't enjoy the theme.

Like other Christian films before it - "Facing the Giants," "Fireproof," and "Letters to God" - the acting is not Academy Award caliber by any stretch, but the film isn't really about the acting. It's about the story and message the actors are conveying. In that aspect, The Grace Card is a winner.

Sadly, it will only be at Spencer's Southpark 7 through Thursday night so you're going to have to hustle if you want to catch it locally. On a positive note, I'm sure it will be available on DVD soon as well.

The story, told in Memphis, Tenn., centers around a middle-aged police officer Mac McDonald (comedian and actor Michael Joiner) whose bitter and hateful nature is distancing him from his family and society as a whole. His young son is killed in an accident, the result of a high speed pursuit following a drug bust, and 16 years later, Mac is an angry bigot (the driver of the car that killed his son is black) who basically checked out with the death of his first son. His wife and 17-year-old son have paid the price.

Mac finds himself paired with a younger black officer Sam Wright (Michael Higgenbottom), who is promoted to sergeant on the force, a position Mac was seeking. While Sam is considered a rising star on the force, his real passion lies with preaching. He leads a small congregation on Sundays and wants to build the church.

The two realize immediately they don't like each other. Sam tries to battle through his dislike. Mac doesn't try and doesn't hide his disdain. Mac's nature begins to poison Sam, making the pastor question whether he is fit to lead his flock when he can't find God's love in his heart for his partner.

When the student is ready the teacher appears, but it's never clear what role Mac and Sam play in that scenario. Probably a bit of each at times.

The two reluctant brothers in blue grow apart and then together once again as job-related circumstances and life tragedy force them to discover forgiveness and the true meaning of God's love - the spirit of sacrifice.

In an area of the country where race was, and continues to be, such an issue, this movie offers a hard look the world needs to see.

Take some tissue. This one will have you wiping your eyes more than once. I applaud the folks who invested in this film to share this message and give us all reason to pause and think about how we treat one another.

There is one point in the movie where a mother is talking to her young daughter in a hospital waiting room. The little girl is asking about the differences between black and white. The mother responds with, "Inside, I think we're all pretty much the same."

Why is that so hard for us to remember in our day-to-day dealings with each other?



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A Little to the Right
By Randy M. Cauthron
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Randy Cauthron is the managing editor of the Daily Reporter. He has been with the paper since 2003 and has worked in the newspaper business since 1993. Randy enjoys entertainment and sports. He has wife, Leah and six children living in Spencer. Randy enjoys sharing his opinion on everything from entertainment, pop culture, politics and sports.
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