Directed by: Marc Webb – Starring: Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer
Chris Evans is so associated with his acclaimed performance, as Captain America in the Marvel movies, that it is easy to forget that he can play other roles. But as if to remind us of that fact, in Gifted he tackles a part that is about as far away from a CGI heavy action character as you can get. And indeed this family drama is about as removed from a blockbuster as it’s possible to be.
Evans plays Frank Adler, who has been caring for his young niece, Mary (Grace) since her brilliant, but tortured, mathematician mother died when Mary was a baby.
However, Mary shows incredible aptitude for maths, and although Frank wants her to live a normal childhood, her grandmother, Evelyn (Duncan) has other ideas. – cue a rather unpleasant custody battle designed to tug at the heart strings.
The custody battle drama has been done a million times before. What makes this one stand out somewhat are some fantastic performances, not least from Mckenna Grace as young Mary. She and Evans bounce off each other beautifully, and you completely believe their relationship. While all of the cast do a fantastic job (in fairness when have you ever known Octavia Spencer or Lindsay Duncan not to give great performances?) it is this relationship that is the lynchpin of the movie.
This is a good thing, as the script is not quite as clever as it thinks, and in lesser hands Gifted could have been glorified made-for-TV fare. Parts of the plot are rather convoluted, and unless you REALLY love mathematics, you may find yourself zoning out during some of the scenes involving equations (I didn’t even like them at school, but hey!)
Also, there is some lovely cinematography here, and you will be longing for some Florida sunshine after seeing Gifted.
A sweet movie, with just enough tension to keep you engaged, Gifted is predictable, but saved by the fabulous cast, who manage to elevate the material hugely.
It is difficult to imagine this movie offending anybody, other than by perhaps being somewhat too saccharine in places.
Even the hardest cynic should find themselves moved somewhat by Gifted, and while it won’t been winning any awards for high drama, it does enough to entertain and satisfy the viewer.
In Cinemas June 16th! Trailer below: