MYM: Gracie

Photo by Pat Whelen on

How can a second spent reminiscing about long-gone memories entrap a person in their mature age? 

The film Gracie captures the unique essence of the passage of time. 

Following the character, Gracie, an elderly Jamaican immigrant, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, as she comes to terms with her situation. Grace lives in a nursing home and is frequently visited by her daughter and grandson, Aaron. As the story progresses, we learn Gracie is stuck in a memory where her deceased husband, Winston, is still alive. Believing Winston is coming to get her, Gracie sits in her room and waits for him.

Other times, Gracie is observed shifting between good memories, like tasting the sweet mangoes from her homeland of Jamaica, and bad memories, like the racism she once experienced from her neighbors. Fortunately, for Gracie, she has her grandson, Aaron. During one of the scenes, Gracie suffers an episode, and she forgets she is in a nursing home. Gracie begins packing her bags, readying herself to reunite with her husband in Jamaica. Aaron forced to remind her where she is and manages to settle her emotions. In a dreadful sight, we see a woman losing touch with her reality in the final stage of her life. As tears stream down Gracie’s face, she realizes she cannot leave.

Days pass by, and the nurses and Aaron start to see Gracie receding back into herself as she listens to a familiar song playing in the background, silently recalling a simpler time when she used to dance. 

Wanting to do something special for his grandmother, Aaron makes plans to recreate one of Gracie’s favorite places. He grasps her by the hand, tells her to pack her things, and takes her outside to a recreated beach. Gracie, overcome with joy, settles down on one of the beach chairs and takes off her shoes. Sipping a cold drink, Aaron plays the tune she loved so much, only this time she does not have to listen to it alone. The last shot is tears rolling down Gracie’s cheeks and a smile on her face, as she relives the life she always wanted.