A Fall from Grace
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|A Fall from Grace|
|Directed by||Tyler Perry|
|Written by||Tyler Perry|
|Edited by||Larry Sexton|
|Music by||Jay Weigel|
A Fall from Grace is a 2020 American thriller film produced, written, and directed by Tyler Perry and his first to be released by Netflix. The film follows a woman who finds a dangerous new love and the novice attorney who defends her in a sensational court case. This was the final film of Cicely Tyson before her death in January 2021.
Jasmine Bryant (Bresha Webb) is a public defender who constantly takes plea deals in small town Virginia. Her husband Jordan (Matthew Law) is a police officer who is feeling down after one of his recent victims jumps off a roof to her death. Jasmine is given a new case by her boss Rory (Tyler Perry) to defend Grace Waters (Crystal Fox) the woman accused of murdering her husband Shannon DeLong (Mehcad Brooks). Grace insists that she is guilty and will agree to a plea deal if she goes to a prison close by her son Malcolm (Walter Fauntleroy). Jasmine is troubled by the details of the case, including the fact that Shannon's body was never found. Rory is not pleased that Jasmine wants to try the case because the department does not have the budget for a trial, in addition to the media frenzy.
Grace’s best friend Sarah Miller (Phylicia Rashad) tells Jasmine that Grace was feeling sad after her divorce and she pushed her to get out and meet someone new, which led her to Shannon. After researching the case some more, Jasmine and her colleagues Tilsa (Angela Marie Rigsby) and Donnie (Donovan Christie, Jr.) believe Grace is innocent. Grace tells Jasmine how she met Shannon at his artwork exhibition at an art gallery. They began dating as he charmed Grace with nice words and wine. After they married three months later, Shannon gradually became cruel and secretive from Grace. Eventually, Grace was fired from her job at the bank after Shannon secretly stole from her accounts using her passwords, and he also mortgaged her house with forged documents. Finally, Grace walked in on Shannon in their bed with another woman. That evening, in anger, Grace beat Shannon with a baseball bat multiple times and threw him down the stairs to her basement. Grace then drove to the middle of nowhere to call Sarah and inform her that she killed her husband. Sarah explains that she went to Grace's house and witnessed her son Malcolm leaving the house. Because Shannon's body is missing, Sarah believes that Malcolm helped Grace dispose of it.
At the trial, Jasmine miserably fails at proving Grace's innocence. Calling Sarah as a witness backfires because phone records show numerous phone calls between the women on the night of the murder, and Sarah finally admits on the stand that Grace confessed to killing Shannon to her. Grace is found guilty by the jury. Feeling defeated, Jasmine stops by Sarah's house (a residence for old ladies) and notices an elderly woman named Alice (Cicely Tyson) trying to escape from the house. Alice wants to leave the house and reveals that other women have died there, including Shane Fieldman (Jordan's victim from the beginning of the film). When Jasmine discovers there are numerous elderly women locked up in the basement, she is kidnapped. Jordan discovers Sarah's criminal history and searches for his wife. Shannon turns out to be alive and is revealed to be Sarah's son. Jordan knocks on the door and asks Sarah if Jasmine is there and she denies it. When Jordan calls her, he hears her phone ringing from inside the house, so he bursts in, tussles with Sarah, handcuffs her, and then looks for Jasmine as Sarah escapes. Jordan and Shannon fight as Jasmine tries to break free. Shannon is shot and is presumably killed.
As the police rescue the elderly women, it is revealed that Sarah and Shannon are really mother and son criminals Betty and Maurice Mills, who have been kidnapping elderly women for their social security information and conning middle aged women out of their life savings for over 25 years with Grace being one of those middle aged women. Grace gets one more hearing and this time, Jasmine succeeds at defending Grace by presenting new evidence that Grace was victimized by Betty and Maurice's scheme to steal her life savings, and another piece of evidence that reveals that Betty and Maurice are wanted in several states for stealing from other numerous women, which is enough for the judge to grant Grace her freedom. While everyone celebrates Grace's freedom, Rory congratulates Jasmine for uncovering such a crazy scheme. Meanwhile, Betty is on the run from the police and has just been hired to take care of an elderly woman in a nursing home.
- Crystal Fox as Grace Waters
- Phylicia Rashad as Sarah Miller/Betty Mills
- Bresha Webb as Jasmine Bryant
- Mehcad Brooks as Shannon DeLong/Maurice Mills
- Cicely Tyson as Alice
- Tyler Perry as Rory Garraux
- Adrian Pasdar as Prosecutor Bradley Tankerton
- Matthew Law as Jordan Bryant
- Michael Rose as Mr. Clyde
- Donovan Christie Jr. as Donnie
- Walter Fauntleroy as Malcom Waters
- Angela Marie Rigsby as Tilsa
- Michael Ray Davis as Judge
The film holds an approval rating of 16% on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 25 reviews with an average rating of 3.5/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Drama for drama's sake does not a great movie make, but boy is it fun to watch A Fall From Grace unravel". On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 34 out of 100, based on seven critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Many on social media have criticized the glaring errors in the film in the forms of seeing boom microphones, continuity errors, and extras staring directly into the camera and "miming" actions, possibly attributed to the very limited production schedule. Sometime after the film's release, the movie went through further edits and alternate cuts to fix these problems. There were little to no announcements regarding these changes. The line "Ashtray, bitch!", has become something of an internet meme due to its forceful, yet unintentionally funny delivery. Tyler Perry claimed that the line was not in the script and something he had added on the spot stating, "that was my father doing stupid stuff".
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- "Tyler Perry's A Fall from Grace (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
- "A Fall from Grace Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
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- Coleman, Korey (January 10, 2020). "THE 10 WORST MOVIES OF 2020 | AND MORE – The Sunday Service LIVE @ 5:45 PM CST". Double Toasted.
- Jackson, Panama (January 23, 2020). "12 Thoughts, Facts, and Opinions About Tyler Perry's Wildly Ridiculous, Entertaining Movie, A Fall From Grace". The Root.
- Double Toasted (January 20, 2020). "TYLER PERRY'S A FALL FROM GRACE MOVIE REVIEW | Double Toasted". YouTube.
- blacktreetv (January 19, 2020). "Is "Ashtray Bitch" the most epic Tyler Perry Line Ever? A Fall From Grace". YouTube.