Aug 23, 17 Gifted


In Cinemas AUGUST 31


Frank Adler’s (Chris Evans) plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

Thanks to Roadshow Films



Marc Webb is developing a nice little career for himself. Gifted has a keen sense of emotional weight, even if it’s ultimately a tad melodramatic with some clunky dialogue.


By far the best thing about ‘Gifted’ are the performances. Amidst the soap opera-ish story are the touching performances from Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace. This story only works if these two have great chemistry and you believe in their relationship. Both of them clearly had a blast filming with each other and developed a sweet back and forth. The one detractor being that the dialogue they are given isn’t all that effective. Tom Flynn doesn’t have a ton of experience working on feature films, and it shows here. I’m also a bit stumped by the use of a shake-cam in some scenes – we’re not filming an action film, or a horror movie here – this just took away from the experience.


The film always has good intentions, as do all of the characters, and in that way it feels safe. It’s a predictable story with enough likeable qualities to get by, but it could have probably taken a few more chances here and there. Funny enough, the film is about a young child who’s smarter than she should be, and that’s kind of similar to the film overall. It’s an innocent film that tries to be smarter and more thought provoking than it really has a right to be.


However, as I stated before, the film’s heart lies with Evans and Grace. Their comradery is undeniable and thus there are quite a few powerful scenes. With all of his outings as Captain America, you don’t get to see this side of Chris Evans, so I’m grateful this film gave us that. Webb does a nice job of getting an uncharacteristically emotional turn from Evans, and a funny, touching, and surprising turn from the young Grace. Overall, it’s not going to knock anyone’s socks off, but it definitely puts a smile on your face and maybe even gets a few tears out of you.


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