“Gifted”—A Movie Review   Leave a comment

A man, Frank, goes to court against his mother Evelyn for custody of his 7 year old mathematical genius niece Mary who he has been taking care of her since his sister, her mother, also a mathematical genius, committed suicide six and a half years previously. He wants his niece to have a normal childhood unlike his sister who didn’t have a choice except to live up to her mother’s expectations! Oh yes, let’s not forget his next door neighbor Roberta who is a mother figure for Mary. Let’s throw in Mary’s teacher Bonnie who discovers Mary’s brilliant abilities and Frank’s hunky looks. Let’s not forget a one-eyed cat named Fred and why not throw in some foster parents? With all this you have to go to court for the ‘who will win custody’—DUH!–suspense.

Do you hear the violins on the soundtrack? Can you feel/see the director Marc Webb and screenwriter Tom Flynn using all the cliches to manipulate the audience? (Darn it but they fail to explain a throwaway comment about why a professor quit a lucrative job but you will know..)

The surprising thing is that this movie works. It will get the laughs out of the audience and in a minute the tears will flow.The only thing missing are those violins on the soundtrack, instead getting some grating sounds here and there plus a pop tune when needed.

There is no faulting the acting with Chris Evans as Frank, Jenny Slate as the teacher, Elizabeth Marvel as the school’s principal, Lindsay Duncan as Evelyn, Octavia Spencer as the next door neighbor all delivering the cliches as if they are brand new, said and done for the first time. A special well done to MckennaGrace as the 7 year old Mary, here and there precocious when needed, who delivers with the tears, anger, smiles and mathamatical smarts when called for, whether she understood the problems or not!

There is one scene showing a couple of families welcoming a new baby which, though not necessary, add unexpected warmth.

Shot mainly in Florida,except for one Boston scene, the film is bright with even the cliche beach, boats and bird scenes looking fresh.

This weekend you will either go to the latest “Fast and Furious” franchise sequel or “Gifted” the touchy-feely ‘date’ movie. Guess which one I recommend?

Gifted movie trailer


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