I haven’t been watching as many movies as I once was as of late. This is mostly because of time restrictions and trying really hard to catch up on some TV that I’ve been missing, but I was able to find a decent HBO movie that was on this past Saturday night, so I decided to give it a chance since the trailer looked good. Was it as good as the trailer showed or was it one of those deceiving trailers for a really horrible movie? Keep reading to find out.
Gifted is about Frank, played by Chris Evans, who is left to care for his niece Mary, played by Mckenna Grace, after her super smart mathematician of a mother commits suicide. Knowing that Mary, like her mother is just as smart and gifted, Frank tries to make her live a normal life. His sister didn’t have that normal life mostly because she was pushed around by her mother Evelyn, played by Lindsay Duncan, to reach her maximum potential. Frank doesn’t want his niece to be lead down the same path so with the help of his neighbor Roberta, played by Octavia Spencer, he makes her do kid things. This leads to her going to school, which then leads to her talent being discovered, and leads into a custody battle between Frank and Evelyn. This all turns into a move that is both heartbreaking and touching all at the same time.
I have to say that I really loved this movie. Frank has basically been tasked with taking care of Mary which of course did not fit his plans. He had planned on dropping her off at child services time after time but just couldn’t do it. His main thing though is that he wants her to have a normal life so that she doesn’t end up like her mother. Mary is only seven and she deserves to be seven. She deserves to have friends her own age and do normal girl things, not spend her time solving math equations 24/7. This is what Frank knows his sister would have wanted for her. That is until the grandmother, Evelyn, becomes involved. I wouldn’t call her the bad guy of this film as she has her own problems. She pushed her daughter so hard because she lost her own chance of becoming a brilliant mathematician because she did what was expected of her which was get married and had kids. She didn’t want to see her daughter head down the same path but also didn’t understand what she was doing to her daughter and what she wanted to do to her granddaughter was just plain wrong. One might say she was blinded in this way and trying to live vicariously through her daughter and then seen that she could do the same through her granddaughter. This leads to a long custody battle which takes up about half of the movie and it’s heartbreaking. Who really has the best interests in mind for Mary? This leads to some touching moments between Frank and Mary and an overall feel good ending.
The cast is really what makes this movie work so well. Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace just play off of each other so well that you can really believe they’re this makeshift family who are trying to make the best out of a not so great situation. Octavia Spencer who has a short part in this movie also stands out, as she does in every other role that she plays, as the caring neighbor who will do anything possible to help Frank because she knows about Mary and wants her to be protected. Even Lindsay Duncan plays a stellar role in this movie and the cast as a whole makes this movie even better.
Overall I give this movie a 5 out of 5.
I can’t say enough how much I really loved this movie. It was the perfect movie for my Saturday night movie watching as it just had the right amount of heartbreaking moments and touching moments. The cast worked perfectly together and made the movie even more believable. I would say that if you’re looking for a feel good movie that will probably make you cry, just a little or a hell of a lot in my situation, then you shouldn’t pass this one up. This movie shows that even the smartest people need to just be regular people every once in a while.