State of Grace is filmaking at its finest- a beautiful modern drama with superb performances.
The protagonist, Sean Penn as Terry Noonan, is looking to face his past in Hell's Kitchen and do his duty as an undercover police officer-only to find out that he will have to harm people he grew up with and love him.He soon meets and bonds with his best friend, Jackie Flannery (one of Gary Oldman's most beautiful performances-and his personal favourite), who is working for his brother Frank (Ed Harris),the boss of the Irish mafia, and his Jackie's sister Kathleen who was his first love. Soon, he will discover that it he cannot easily turn on his own people, especially not Jackie who, despite his drinking and his violent, borderline paranoid character, sees him as a friend and trusts him immediately.
Director Phil Joanou has created a beautiful film that relies on a good, heart-felt story, and excellent acting from all the protagonists. The absolute highlight of this movie is Gary Oldman, whose presence lights up every scene he is in. As Jackie Flannery he is constantly drunk and in need of a shower, yet incredibly human and looking for affection and the approval of his older brother.
I loved the film when I first saw it, and was just as impressed now that I got to see it again on DVD.It feels real and honest.The only drawback of this edition is its Spartan menu,featuring only a trailer but that may have to do with the film being made back in 1990... Appart from that it is an absolute must for movie lovers.