Film Review: ‘Running for Grace’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘Running for Grace’
It’s difficult to offer a detailed synopsis of “Running for Grace” without making it sound like something adapted from a young adult novel of recent vintage. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, you understand, but this pleasantly well-crafted period drama actually plays more like a throwback to youth-skewing entertainment of an earlier era. Imagine a Troy Donahue-Sandra Dee teen romance of the early ‘60s with an inoffensive undercurrent of social consciousness, and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from director David L. Cunningham’s thoroughly predictable but lightly enjoyable tale of love and prejudice in 1920s Hawaii.

During this period in the Kona Coffee Belt, the lines between Japanese immigrant laborers and members of the mostly-white power structure are rigidly maintained. Jo (played as a child by Cole Takiue), an orphan of mixed-race lineage, finds himself ostracized by both groups until
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