Movie, Reviews

“Gifted” a Touching Drama with a lot of Heart

 

Sweet and endearing the movie Gifted tells an inspiring story of determination and affection. Nicely directed by Marc Webb who brought 500 Days of Sumner to the screen, his new film shows a different kind of love relationship that’s remarkable. Now in theaters, if you are tired of the ordinary drama of family dysfunction, try out this amazing tug of war that will make you laugh, cry and open your heart.

A determined single guy, Frank Adler (Chris Evans) has been home schooling Mary (Mckenna Grace), his niece that was dropped on his doorstep after she was born by her mathematical genius mother just before her life ended in tragedy. Now seven years later, Mary has shown brilliance beyond belief in her mother’s field. But, Frank agrees to have Mary attend a public school so she can socialize with her age group. When Bonnie (Jenny Slate), Mary’s first grade teacher, finds out about the young girl’s gifted ability she contacts Frank. Offering a plan for Mary’s education, she inadvertently opens the door for a legal war with her grandmother.

Mckenna Grace as “Mary” in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

The film moves along at a fast clip showing the intervention of her maternal grandmother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) and Mary’s conflict with the family. Director Marc Webb tells his story brilliantly introducing each of the elements that create a clash between Mary’s love for her uncle and following her gift. He inserts a few stingers along the way to enhance the plot and bring the film to an amicable ending.

Mckenna Grace as “Mary Adler” Lindsay Duncan as “Evelyn” and Chris Evans as “Frank Adler” in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

Although the movie is quite predictable it’s the acting that makes it a winner. Young Mckenna Grace pulls of an amazing performance depicting the conflicted child as she tries to sort out what is happening to her. I am impressed by her character and the way she is able to show all sides of Mary’s plight to deal with her future and deal with her past. You may see her again in person next year walking across the stage for a Golden Globe if she is not out competed by the movie aristocracy.

Octavia Spencer as “Roberta” and Chris Evans as “Frank Adler” in the film GIFTED. Photo by Wilson Webb. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved.

I like Chris Evans in this role as the father who has to fight off his own mother to save the child from losing her childhood. He depicts Frank as a concerned parent who wants Mary to grow up with a normal life, but gets blindsided by Evelyn who wants her daughter back through her grandchild. Look for Chris as Captain America in the new Avenger’s move 2018.

Gifted has been rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material. Most teens should be able to see the film and mature pre-teens as well.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Don’t miss this one at the movie theater.

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Mckenna Grace, Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan
Directed by: Marc Webb
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material
Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
Release Date: April 14, 2017
Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 11 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com