Grace Unplugged

Not rated yet!
Director
Brad J. Silverman
Runtime
1 h 42 min
Release Date
4 October 2013
Genres
Drama, Music
Overview
A talented young singer and aspiring songwriter’s Christian faith and family ties are tested when she defies her worship-pastor father and pursues pop-music stardom in GRACE UNPLUGGED, a moving and inspiring new film that explores the true meaning of success.
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Plugged In2
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Grace Unplugged
    Drama We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewThe very gifts God gives us can sometimes pull us away from Him. It happened to Johnny Trey—a singer/songwriter who parlayed a talent for music into the outrageously popular "Misunderstood." That hit record might've been the best and worst thing to ever happen to the guy: In the wake of his success, Johnny sank into a world of self-absorption and substance abuse. Only when he found God and left the high-stress world of stardom did he find peace—as a music pastor for a church in Birmingham, Ala. For several years, things were great. He got married and had a beautiful little girl named Grace—a blonde dynamo with a love for both God and music. Yep, everything seemed perfect. Or so it seemed … until Grace turned 18. Oh, Grace still loves music. Maybe too much. She goes off-script during services and freelances through worship songs like a Whitney Houston wannabe. "I have my own style!" She hollers at her displeased father after church. "Have you not noticed that?" "It's worship, Grace!" Johnny thunders back. "We're there to worship!" Her attitude grows worse with each passing day, it seems. She's skipping youth group to go to the movies. She's lying and getting lazy. She's fighting with her folks constantly. For Johnny, it would seem that his perfect little girl has become a perfect little pain in the rear. Then, one Sunday between squabbles, Johnny's old manager Frank Mostin walks through the church door with some crazy news. "Misunderstood," Johnny's one and only hit, is getting airplay again. Old concert footage of Johnny has gone viral on YouTube. Suddenly, the old man is a hot property again. And Mostin—always "Mossy" to Johnny—says it's time to get back on the road. Thanks, but no thanks, Johnny says. He's seen enough of that road for a lifetime. He's fine with his church and his family in Birmingham. But Grace overhears the conversation and, after a dejected Mossy leaves, she records her own version of "Misunderstood" and ships it off to the music biz guy. He listens. He likes. And he invites Grace to come to Los Angeles. Grace doesn't have to be asked twice. She packs up some clothes and the guitar her father gave her, taking off for that City of Angels, of Dreams, of Stars. She's more than ready to make good on her own bountiful gifts. The only gift she leaves behind for her parents is a terse note on her bed—telling them not to follow her.Positive ElementsNeither Grace nor her father are exactly perfect here, and that's the point: Both make some very human mistakes and must learn how to correct them. Grace grows from a rebellious, self-absorbed diva into a humbler, more gracious person. But it's not easy. The pathway to humility rarely is. She takes some lumps and learns some lessons, and she comes out of the ordeal healthier and happier. Even in the midst of her rebellion, Grace still stays true to some good old-fashioned values: She doesn't take to the idea of exploiting her sexuality, for example, whether during photo shoots or while on dates. And Grace's dad learns some lessons too. While he's not the obvious pill Grace is, Johnny is guilty of treating his little girl like a little girl for too long. He won't listen to Grace's ideas for worship performances, ignoring her obviously titanic talent. And he comes to see his shortcomings as he works his way back into her good … graces. That's not to excuse Grace's actions, of course. She was wrong, no doubt about it. But Johnny owns up to his own role in his family's discord. "I think somewhere deep down, I just never wanted you to grow up," he admits. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right," Paul writes in Ephesians. "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." If Grace Unplugged has a guiding verse, this is most certainly it. But Grace Unplugged is also very much a cautionary coming-of-age story—an examination of how sometimes what we most want undermines what we most need. Grace discovers that by following her own heart she arrives in a place that's determined to squash that strong yet sensitive organ. It's only by following God's heart that she finds true happiness and peace and fulfillment. Along the way, Grace lands a much-needed friend in Quentin, a Christian intern for her record label who provides for her a tenuous thread back to God and a more grounded reality. He invites her over for dinner with his family, gives her Christian books to read and, most importantly, shows that he's always there for her—her rock in a stormy time.Spiritual ContentWhat a difference faith can make in people's lives. That's core to Grace Unplugged. Johnny Trey believes his faith in Jesus literally saved him from a degenerative lifestyle. And Quentin, too, admits that he was "kind of a punk" before he became a Christian. Grace is pulled in another direction by her big-time music industry handlers, who treat Christianity as little more than a flimsy anachronism. Most movers and shakers in L.A. know Johnny's story and accept it with a sort of "whatever works for you" vibe. But it has no relevance to their lives or business. So the whole time Grace is out there, it seems she's struggling with what to do with this pesky religion of hers: embrace it (as she knows she should) or ignore it (for the good of her career). When she's asked about her father and his faith during interviews, she begins to distance herself from it. She appreciates Quentin's prayers, but when it appears they've gone unanswered, she seems to almost chastise him for his faith. But God is not mocked. Nor is Quentin deterred. He suggests to Grace that perhaps she's not just running away from her father, but running from God, too. We hear lots of worship songs, and people talk lovingly about God, His plans for us and His care for us. Grace holds hands and prays with Quentin's family.Sexual Content"Your body is the biggest asset you have," Grace is told by a pop star she idolizes. "Your currency. Sometimes you have to spend it." And Grace does indeed feel the pressure to spend. "You're a beautiful girl," Mossy tells her. "We just want to make the most of it, that's all." Her image consultant says she should at first be "Daddy's little girl with an edge" (with the suggestion that as time goes on, her image may grow more salacious). But Grace never does anything that degrades her modesty. When Mossy lines up a well-respected photographer to do her album cover, Grace expresses concerns that most of his former subjects wore barely anything for the shoots—and the album cover is never shot. For a time, Grace dates a hot-to-trot television star, but she turns down his offer to come back to his place. The subject of sex briefly comes up when Johnny gives Grace a promise ring, which she grumpily rejects on the grounds that she doesn't need a ring to remind her of what she already knows.Violent ContentNone.Crude or Profane LanguageFour or five uses of "gosh."Drug and Alcohol ContentThe 18-year-old Grace is never carded once she arrives in Los Angeles. She begins to drink—champagne at first, in celebration of her first record deal. Later she starts ordering the signature beverage of her image consultant, and we see her get drunk while out on a date. It's just the sort of behavior Johnny was worried about. He frittered away his own career in a haze of drugs (Grace calls him out for being "wasted" back in the day), and he admits that, with all he did back then, he's lucky to be alive. "The drugs alone should've killed me," he says. "Glad that part of my life is over." Grace plays in a nightclub, and we see alcohol at bars and parties.Other Negative ElementsConclusionGrace Unplugged can feel, at times, like The Miley Cyrus Story: What Could've Been. We have a one-hit wonder who finds faith and raises a talented daughter … then that talented daughter turns 18 and goes a little crazy. Here's where the stories diverge (at least for now): The daughter realizes the error of her ways, comes back to her morals, her senses and her daddy, and everyone lives happily ever after. But there's more to this moving story of rebellion, regret and reconciliation. I think most fathers (and mothers) eventually grow familiar with the complicated two-step we see here—the desire to protect your kids clashing with the need to let them go. And I think most teens can sympathize with Grace and her dreams. Indeed, we all must eventually either accept or reject our parents' teaching, make our faith our own (or not) and go into the world on our own, and in our own way. The pressure can be immense to do this sort of thing gracefully. But it ain't easy. And in many families, it can make for a whole lot of stress and anger and tears. So in the midst of it all, it can be easy to forget a simple but profound truth: God is in control. Johnny doesn't feel that sense of peace. He can't control his daughter. He can't control his own reactions at times. And I get that: As a parent, you want to make your kids understand certain things. You want to save them from bad decisions—perhaps the very decisions you made yourself once. So it's good for me to be reminded that that's not always possible. As Johnny's pastor and friend tells him, "God may not be using you in Grace's life right now. And He may never. But He is in control." Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2
    (”Grace Unplugged” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    A few years years ago, I went out on a limb and wrote a blog that included a list of many of my favorite movies. To make the grade, the films had to be both entertaining and family-friendly. I titled this blog, “A Few of My Favorite Things” and began with an introduction in which I admitted publishing such a compilation was risky. I was fully aware that not every film on my list would resonate with some of you, our readers. Most of you who commented were kind, but as expected a few of you thought I was a few fries short of a happy meal. For instance, a person named Jake commented: Soul Surfer??? For those who want to lust after half naked women!! To Save a Life??? I got the impression that sex before marriage is okay, as long as you don’t abort the baby!! Like I said, I knew I wasn’t going to please everyone. By the way, not only did I screen Soul Surfer, I was even in Hawaii for some of the filming (yes, a rough assignment, but someone had to do it!). While there were definitely some women wearing swimsuits, that’s a hard thing to get away from in a surfing movie. And with To Save a Life, my colleague Paul Asay wrote: The final product is polished, professional and one of the best Christian films I’ve seen. I guarantee you those words would not have been written for a film endorsing sex outside of marriage. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’m ready to roll out “A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2”—a list of 50 films I’ve liked since the original list of 30 was published in March 2012. Most, but not all of the films listed below have been reviewed by Plugged In. I’d encourage you to use this list in conjunction with our reviews. Nearly every film has a content concern or two. Even The Peanuts Movies with its perfect score has Lucy calling Charlie Brown a “blockhead.” I’ve been doing this long enough to realize we have readers who’d prefer their young children not hear any sort of name calling. I get it. Again that’s why I recommend you use this list in conjunction with our reviews. Incidentally, in light of the potential criticism you may be wondering why I’d do lists like these at all. Good question! For one thing, as we head into the Christmas gift-buying season, some of you are looking for gifts/stocking stuffers. Furthermore, I think that question was answered last time so please allow me to reprint what I said back in 2012: So, by now, I think you get my point: We hesitate to offer the “Plugged In List of Family-Friendly Movies” because we know that somebody, somewhere, will feel we let them down. That said, I regularly have friends and acquaintances ask me about flicks I personally like. (It’s similar to a physician being approached with a “Hey, doc, I got this pain in my arm and was wondering …”) So, even though I know that this list will not be without some controversy, I’m going to be brave and jot down a few titles of films that I’ve found encouraging and inspiring. Instead of Plugged In’s list, let’s call this “Bob Waliszewski’s List of Family-Friendly Movies!” And please note that, as with all films, age-appropriateness comes into play. So with all that said, here’s my most recent alphabetized list of favorites: 42The 3356 UpThe ArtistBearsBelleBeyond the MaskThe Book ThiefCaptiveChasing MavericksCinderellaThe Drop BoxEverestFar from the Madding CrowdGod’s Not DeadThe Good LieGrace UnpluggedHooveyHundred Foot JourneyInside OutInstructions Not Included JerusalemLes MiserablesLincolnA Long Way OffThe LunchboxMan of SteelMcFarland USAMirror MirrorMoms’ Night OutMr. HolmesMuppets Most WantedMy All-AmericanNot TodayOctober BabyThe Odd Life of Timothy GreenOld Fashioned Patterns of Evidence: The ExodusThe Peanuts Movie Return to the Hiding PlaceRogue SaintsSaving Mr. BanksSeasons of GraySon of GodUnbrokenUnconditionalWar RoomWhen the Game Stands TallWoman in GoldWoodlawn Okay, Jake (and everyone else), give me your thoughts. I promise you there are no half-naked women in any of the above! ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Crosswalk1
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 8 Excellent and Free Christian Movies on Amazon Prime
    Amazon Prime has more than 100 million members, and the majority of them – 79 percent – pay for the service primarily for the two-day shipping.
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff2
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Eight Lessons For Filmmakers From 'Calvary'
    (”Grace Unplugged” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Eight Lessons For Filmmakers From ‘Calvary’ Faith-friendly films don’t have to be soul-less excuses for a sermon. ‘Calvary’ shows how. August 11, 2014 By Rebecca Cusey Stop the presses. More unlikely than spotting a unicorn, uncovering the Holy Grail, or finding Beyonce’s pants, a rarity is about to appear in theaters. A faith-friendly movie is winning the respect of secular critics and appealing even to those who would never darken the door of their local church. Not only that, but it succeeds in the basic, fundamental job of a movie: It entertains. “Calvary,” from the Irish team that made “The Guard,” follows a priest (Brendan Gleeson) who receives a death threat from a parishioner, in revenge for being abused by another priest as a child. The who’s-gonna-do-it mystery plays out over the movie’s ensuing week with dark humor and touching pathos. How will Father Lavelle respond? Who is the would-be killer, and will he actually follow through? It’s a good flick about a good Christian man. Soulless American Christian subculture films like “God’s Not Dead,” or “Grace Unplugged” can learn a thing or two from the fighting Irish. Try eight. 1. People come to listen to a story, not a sermon. If your story can be summed up as “a nonbeliever learns the error of his ways,” it’s not a story, it’s a sermon. “Calvary” doesn’t feel like a sermon because it tells an old-fashioned murder mystery tale with a victim that happens to be a very good priest. Although Lavelle knows the identity of the potential murderer, the viewer does not. Much of the fun in the film is from looking for clues, exploring each suspect’s potential motive, and guessing what ‘s going to happen. The message for moviemakers: Unless you’re Jesus, don’t build your story around your message. 2. Good intentions don’t replace good quality. Gleeson completely becomes Father Lavelle, supported by a rich script from John Michael McDonagh, who also directs with a deft hand. The expertise both men have built over their careers shows in the final product. Message for moviemakers: Take time to learn your craft. Be willing to pay dues. Love the craft of writing, not just the message. Love the beauty of film work, not just the platform. If you don’t get excited about a long camera shot or a brilliant script, this isn’t the field for you. 3. Love all your characters, even the nonbelievers. This mystery works so well because the characters around the good father are fully-rounded humans. The mocking, in-your-face adultress? There’s a reason she acts that way. The bitter atheist? He’s got a good side. The consumption- and greed- oriented businessman? There’s an emptiness in his soul. In the end, the viewer sees each character as a beautiful, flawed human being desperately in need of a savior. Message to moviemakers: No one deserves to be a caricature. Love your villains as much as your hero. 4. We’ve all got doubts. Make room for them. Father Lavelle isn’t afraid to say those special three little words: “I don’t know.” He doesn’t know how to help a dying author, an insane criminal, a bereaved widow, or a gay boy-toy. All he can offer is his faith that God does know. Message to would-be moviemakers: Ignoring doubt doesn’t make it go away. It only highlights it. 5. Faith-friendly and family-friendly are not the same thing. If your main goal is to make a PG rated film with no boobs or f-bombs, you’ll miss great human stories, including many of the ones in the Bible. Make great kids’ movies for kids, but make great grown up movies for adults. “Calvary” is rated R for language, brief violence, and adult themes, but isn’t salacious or graphic. Message for filmmakers: Follow the story where it takes you. 6. Acknowledge that believers sometimes do bad things. The Catholic pedophile scandal is almost another character in Calvary. These parishioners are confused, hurt and betrayed by the failure of an institution they trusted. Lavelle’s response never denies, ignores, or explains away the scandal. He offers a faith beyond it, a faith the town desperately needs. Message to filmmakers: Be brave enough to show the downside of the faithful. God can take it. 7. Don’t pull your punches. Father Lavelle is a priest. Who is Catholic. Like the Pope. He tells people what God has said in Scripture, calls them on their evasions, and never apologizes for what he believes. The best Christian characters are nuanced, but unapologetically Christian. It’s at the core of who they are. Audiences respect consistent characters. Don’t hint or use euphemisms or tiptoe around faith. Message to filmmakers: If you’re going for faith, go full Monty. 8. Go for the heart, not the brain. Christian subculture films often focus on convincing the viewer of some sermon-friendly point. “Calvary” hits deeper. It makes the case for faith by presenting the emptiness of life without it. When you think about it, most people occupying church pews didn’t come to belief through a logical debate. Ask people about the moment they found God and they will tell you emotional, mystic moments: The time they sat in Taco Bell and saw the beauty and diversity of the faces around them and knew there must be a Creator. The time they came to the desperate end of their own goodness in a hotel room and begged for mercy. The time they heard their baby laugh and knew there must be a soul. Message to filmmakers: Film is about feelings. Find the emotion of faith, the dark night of the soul, the joy of being used by God, a deep love of humanity in its beautiful brokenness, or the experience of the God of the Universe touching a human heart—and you will find a movie worth making. For everyone. Rebecca Cusey is a movie critic based in Washington DC. She is a member of the Washington Area Film Critics Society and a voting Tomatomer Critic on Rotten Tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Cusey. Brendan Gleeson Calvary Calvary movie Catholic pedophile scandal Christian subculture Christianity Father Lavelle God's Not Dead Grace Unplugged movie reviews pedophile priests priest religious themes Roman Catholic The Guard Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Eight Lessons For Filmmakers From ‘Calvary’
    (”Grace Unplugged” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Faith-friendly films don’t have to be soul-less excuses for a sermon. ‘Calvary’ shows how.
    ...
    (Review Source)

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