State of Grace
Terry Noonan (Penn) comes back to his roots in Hell’s Kitchen after having left years ago. He immediately takes contact with Jackie Fannery (Oldman), one of his old friends and ask how things are going these days. Apparantly, Jackies brother Frank (Harris) is running things now and Terry wants to join in to earn some money. Terry also meets Kathleen again, Jackies sister, his first true love which he left to go to Boston. After a couple of small jobs, Terry is accepted by the Flannery’s who are about to make a deal with the Italian mafia. What the Flannery’s don’t know however, is that Terry is an undercover agent who is sent in to infiltrate the family and to make sure the deal doesn’t go through.
Sound and Vision:
Throughout the movie we get to see dust and scratches that haven’t been whiped of the original source and after a while they do become a bit irritating. Also the fact that grain is present doesn’t improve the overall quality. On the other hand, the level of detail, sharpness, contrast and level of black are very good.
The soundtrack is nice with music from Ennio Morricone that adds to the atmosphere – although not as much as in Sergio Leone’s movies – and the dialogues are clear and understandable. Surround channels and subwoofer are rarely used as this movie is more about dialogue than action.
With a cast like this you would expect a major motion picture but State of Grace isn’t. Why ? Because most of the cast are acting on automatic (especially Ed Harris who gives a terrible performance) with only Gary Oldman giving the best of himself. Still, the storyline itself and atmosphere are quite good and the movie is enjoyable enough to spend almost 2 hours watching. Especially since this is a budget release which doesn’t cost much. Only too bad that there aren’t any extras.