The Gifted (2017) Movie review from the famous french translator, film lover, and reviewer.
Right up there with the likes of “A Beautiful Mind”… Really!
Everyone has his/her own reason for watching Hollywood movies… action, comedy, thrill, suspense, drama, superheroes, history… the list is endless. We get what we are looking for, all the time. But every once in a while along comes a movie that makes you sit back and think long after the end credits have rolled up. “Gifted” is one such movie. But this one is a creeper. It crawls up from behind you silently and before you know it, wraps its tentacles around you until you are hooked to every image and every word.
The storyline is simple enough. An uncle is caught between deciding to either let his 6 years old mathematics prodigal niece be sent to a special institution where she would be able to hone her potential and become a mathematics genius or to live with him and lead a normal life like any other 6 years old.
Chris Evans (aka Captain America, the Human Torch, etc…) is a real stunner in this one. Add that to the brilliant McKenna Grace as the temperamental ebullient 6 years old genius and you get some of the finest chemistry between two actors. The old-money east-coast grandmother portrayed to perfection by Lindsay Duncan is another power-house performance. An equal bulldozer of a performance (not surprisingly) comes from Octavia Spencer as the take-charge but doting neighbor. Jenny Slate gives a solid rendition of a caring teacher. Even the lesser important characters like the two lawyers hold their ground.
The storyline is pretty predictable at first and you know where it is leading. But it’s not the how it ends; it’s how it gets there where the true strength of the move lies. You know what’s coming but the way it comes about is what makes it a great story. For those who know “A Beautiful Mind”, well, “Gifted” matches that and then some… and that’s saying a lot! Like all good and well-thought-out stories, this one prompts questions rather than presenting answers.
And here comes what makes this movie a truly masterful piece of cinema… the acting, the imagery, the dialogues, and the brilliant development of characters, from the lead characters to the supporting ones. The cinematography is drool-worthy… some of the contre-jour images against the sun are to die for. This one is a cinematographer’s and editor’s wet dream.
The Gifted (2017) is a roller-coaster, an enigma… one minute you would laugh out loud and feel like hugging the person sitting next to you and a few minutes later you would be reaching for a tissue paper and a lump rising in your throat! I have yet to decide if this was a feel-good or a tear-jerker. One thing is sure, it’s a must-see.
And don’t miss the sledgehammer of the dialogue, “It wasn’t her death she was talking about !” Whoa… Goosebumps stuff!