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BritFlicks Reviews Jane Alexandra Foster's GRACIE

GRACIE a tale of female empowerment shot on a shoestring.

When suicidal Gracie, (29 years old from the Lake District, convincingly played by Lexi Strauss), is interrupted from jumping off Waterloo bridge, it's by frantic, 17 year old French girl Ellie, (played with spirit and talent by Aurelie Amblard) who's running away from an armed pimp, who's blackmailed and beaten her. Alas, they do not escape, and both woman are held captive on a barge boat along the Thames. Here, frightened and despairing, they connect on a deep level as they share how the men in their lives have exploited them.

Through the long dark, but almost dream like night, a series flash backs gives insights into Gracie’s life. From moving out from her parents at a young age, and in with boyfriend JJ, and working as a PA, to her descent into dependence on drugs, and being in an abusive relationship, and finally to the even sadder events that led up to her wanting to kill herself. We also discover how Ellie was bought up by her strict Catholic grandparents before her kidnappers snatched and blackmailed her, leading to her own nightmare and the attempt to escape which led her to meet Gracie.   

GRACIE - Jane Alexandra Foster (British Film)

GRACIE is available now on Amazon Prime.

Their chance meeting however, proves to be destiny, as through the night, they provide each other with an inner strength which enables the woman to evaluate the the entrapment and horror they now face. This is definitely a tale of female empowerment where the courage to look within and taking action has great benefits. Also this film poses the question; Is there more at play with the theme of guardians? Both girls parents were absent in their lives, but throughout the film, the girls slowly find guardianship in in each other, and in the back ground,  all the time, there seems to be a greater, more powerful force at play, where it's possible for the light to win over the dark. Jane Alexandra Foster, the writer and director, has created a film so raw and gritty, you could not help but feel she lay her heart and soul into this work, yet 'Gracie,' also has a fantastical quality, and a magi-real feel, where the expression, 'anything is possible' seems to be a theme that runs underneath the darker story on top.

The settings also reflect the slightly surreal mood perfectly as did shooting on super 16 mm film. The motive of water was also cleverly used. The female leads were good, and their struggles believable, which is a great accolade to them and the direction, and the story really works.

Looking forwards to seeing what Jane Foster directs next,  hopefully with a far bigger budget, as this film was also shot on a zero budget which makes it even more impressive for it's ambition.

GRACIE is available now on Amazon Prime.

Carl Medland

www.carlmedland.com



 

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