Raising a child by yourself is hard enough. For Frank (Chris Evans) it’s an extra challenge when the child in question is a mathematical prodigy, trying to find a way to fit in with other seven year olds while hungering for intellectual stimulation. When her estranged grandmother suddenly swoops in to give her “the life she deserves,” everyone’s worlds are turned upside down.
Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer co-star.
An inspirational custody battle drama with a twist, Gifted could easily be mistaken for something that hearkens from Lifetime or another similar cable station. And if it relied solely on Tom Flynns‘ script, that’s surely where it would have found a home. Luckily the cast – primarily Evans – elevates the material through sheer willpower and charisma. No it’s not a dramatic masterpiece – and it probably has a lot of holes in its logic and representation of the legal and education systems. But it’s an honestly sweet story that plays your emotional chords as easily as a cat bats around a ping pong ball. It’s rather shameless about it about it, but still effective. And seriously, Mckenna Grace as young Mary Adler is so freaking adorable and precocious you can’t help but smile.
Skimming the reviews this film has been getting, it seems the majority of critics have come down pretty hard on it for being cliched weaksauce. I was expecting to walk out of the theater wishing I had my last hour or two back. Not the case. I have to wonder at just how cynical all of these critics must be to complain so strongly about this film. It’s a positive, uplifting movie that never lets things get bad enough to get anyone truly upset. It’s good for pretty much all ages (although there is a scene or two that might cause some awkward explaining depending on how savvy your kids are) and is never depressing enough for serious movie critics to take it seriously.
If you’re tired of movies that just make you angry and want something where people actually end up (spoiler) happy in the end without a bunch of people dying or something in the middle, this could be just what you’re looking for. A nice movie with a solidly entertaining performance from Captain America himself and a nice supporting cast, Gifted isn’t the Grand Canyon, but sometimes the local park is more relaxing and pretty nice too.
Mrs. Hamster did not screen this fillm
Brother Hamster did not screen this film
My rating: Three out of five hats
Gifted solves 56 theaters April 7