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The concept of grace, or a gift unearned by the recipient, is a common theme in many movies. Two movies that explore this theme in different ways are “Tender Mercies” and “Driving Miss Daisy.” In this essay, we will examine the ways in which these movies are about grace and how they illustrate the idea of a gift unearned by the recipient.
“Tender Mercies” is a 1983 movie that tells the story of a washed-up country singer, Mac Sledge, played by Robert Duvall, who is struggling with alcoholism and a failed career. Mac meets a young widow, Rosa Lee, played by Tess Harper, and her son, Sonny, who offer him a job and a place to stay. Mac begins to turn his life around, thanks to the kindness and generosity of Rosa Lee and her family.
The movie is about grace in several ways. First, Mac receives the gift of a second chance, which he has not earned. He is given a job and a place to stay by Rosa Lee, even though he has no money or prospects. Mac is also given the gift of love and companionship, which he has not earned. He forms a close relationship with Rosa Lee and Sonny, and they become like a family to him.
Second, the movie explores the theme of redemption. Mac is a flawed character who has made many mistakes in his life. However, he is given the chance to redeem himself through the kindness and generosity of others. Mac’s transformation is gradual but powerful, and it is made possible by the grace of those who offer him a second chance.
“Driving Miss Daisy” is a 1989 movie that tells the story of an elderly Jewish woman, Daisy Werthan, played by Jessica Tandy, and her African American chauffeur, Hoke Colburn, played by Morgan Freeman. The movie explores themes of racism, prejudice, and the power of friendship.
The movie is about grace in several ways. First, Hoke is given the gift of a job and a steady income, which he has not earned. He is hired by Daisy’s son, Boolie, played by Dan Aykroyd, to be Daisy’s driver, even though he has no experience as a chauffeur. Hoke is also given the gift of friendship and companionship, which he has not earned. He forms a close bond with Daisy, despite their initial differences.
Second, the movie explores the theme of tolerance and understanding. Daisy is initially skeptical and resistant to Hoke, due to her own prejudices and biases. However, she gradually comes to appreciate Hoke’s kindness, patience, and humor. Hoke, in turn, helps Daisy to overcome her own prejudices and learn to accept others who are different from herself.
In both movies, grace is a powerful force that transforms the characters and their relationships. The characters receive gifts that they have not earned, but which are given to them out of kindness and generosity. These gifts allow the characters to overcome their flaws and their prejudices and become better people.
In conclusion, “Tender Mercies” and “Driving Miss Daisy” are two movies that explore the theme of grace in different ways. They illustrate the idea of a gift unearned by the recipient and how these gifts can transform the characters and their relationships. Both movies show how grace can lead to redemption, tolerance, and understanding, and how it can bring people together despite their differences.
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