Gifted
Year:
2017
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama
IMDB rating:
7.7
Director:
Marc Webb
Elizabeth Marvel as Gloria Davis
Michael Kendall Kaplan as Justin Gilmore
Mckenna Grace as Mary Adler (as McKenna Grace)
Jenny Slate as Bonnie
John M. Jackson as Judge Edward Nichols
Jon Sklaroff as Seymore Shankland
John Finn as Aubrey Highsmith
Jona Xiao as Lijuan
Lindsay Duncan as Evelyn
Octavia Spencer as Roberta Taylor
Julie Ann Emery as Pat Golding
Glenn Plummer as Greg Cullen
Keir O'Donnell as Bradley Pollard
Chris Evans as Frank Adler
Storyline: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
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Resolution 1920x800 px
File Size 7834 Mb
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Resolution 720x304 px
File Size 1419 Mb
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File Size 525 Mb
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Reviews
A Beautiful Family Drama
I wanna start by saying this is probably the best movie of 2017 I have seen so far, but I have also only watched about five movies from this year, nevertheless it is amazing. Before watching the movie I really thought it was gonna be pretty bad, but when I finally pulled myself together to watch it I was very happy I did. It managed both to be very funny and very hard to watch, it was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and it really dealt with it subjects in a very good way. The story is incredible, even though being a bit unrealistic, it still manages to be a movie that seem's very real, I don't know the director all I can say is I think he did a great job. The story is about a single man named Frank Adler living with his dead sisters child Mary, who happens to be extremely intelligent. Because of his sisters suicide, and not wanting the child to feel different and wanting her to have a normal life. He lives with her in a small town, sends her to a normal school even though she could do much better educationally. One day his mother comes and hear about what he is doing and choose to sue over child custody so she can live a more challenging life and live up to her full potential. That is a pretty bad review but I think it gets the point through. Gifted is about so much more than what I have just written and it asks so many questions. Mostly I would say this movie is about family, love, intellect, and questions that are to big for us. The acting is amazing, starting with Chris Evans who does a quit but nonetheless gives us a beautiful very emotional performance, showing how good he is when he is not a superhero. Then there is McKenna Grace without a doubt one of the best child actors I have seen in a very long time, gives in my view one of the best performances I have ever seen by a child actor, she is actually better than most grown up actors. There were also many other great performances by people like, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer and many others. I am gonna finish by saying this is an amazing movie about family and one of the movies of 2017. I hope you found the review helpful and I hope you will love the movie as much as I do.
2017-07-16
Drama with a tinge of 'genius'! [+72%]
Marc Webb proves yet again that he is a master dramatist than a helmer of superhero projects. He needs to be known more for being the guy behind films like 'Gifted' and '500 Days of Summer' (and the upcoming 'The Only Living Boy in New York') than the subpar Amazing Spiderman series.

'Gifted' mostly revolves around Mary (McKenna Grace) and her uncle Frank (Chris Evans). Mary like her late mother Diane (who committed suicide, leaving her daughter in the hands of her brother) is a skilled mathematician and displays her skills quite early on in school. Bonnie (Jenny Slate) is the one who initially draws conclusion that Mary is a powerhouse of mathematical talent. Mary enjoys residing at uncle Frank's, and is fond of routinely staying over at their neighbor Roberta's (Octavia Spencer in a heartwarming role).

The funny exchanges between niece and uncle make you smile on most instances. McKenna's adorable expressions and her cute banter (with the upper-incisors-missing) is bound to melt even the coldest of hearts. Mary is intelligent as hell, relishes company of adults but still enjoys Lego and Spongebob. Enter Frank's mom and Mary's grandmother Evelyn, who's adamant on exploiting Mary's flair in math to solve a complex Millennium problem (previously pursued by Diane), and wishes to move her to a special school for the gifted. Frank, who believes his mom was responsible for turning Diane into a lifeless arithmetic engine, strongly opposes the idea as he wants Mary to have a normal life.

What ensues is a court-room battle between Frank and Evelyn for the custody of Mary, however the director is keen to stick to detailed character sketches over staging thrills. Therefore, a higher weightage is given to what happens outside of the court-room. The lead characters with all their flaws are beautifully written. Tom Flynn's screenplay even gives due importance to Mary's monocular cat Fred who adds on to the film's winsome nature. Chris Evans is at his relaxed best in 'Gifted' and seems perfectly cast. Jenny Slate is spunky as always and although not occupying a lot of screen-time, delivers a memorable performance. The rest of the supporting cast rise to the occasion. Some of the pieces don't really add up to a coherent whole but the positives override the minor negatives and this works in favor of the film.

Scenes such as the one when Frank takes Mary to the waiting area next to a labor room where she witnesses the unbounded joy of couples / family members in welcoming newborns into this world, are worthy of acclamation. The climax though, is a predictable crowd- pleaser that succeeds to an extent in raising smiles aplenty.

Verdict: Laudable feel-good flick!
2017-07-12
Overly Sentimental Math Prodigy Yarn
In the bonus track of the DVD of "Gifted," one of the film's producers indicated that the goal of the film was "honesty and reality" in the story of child math genius. While the intentions of the filmmakers were sincere, the results were uneven because the film was laden with sentimentality and melodrama.

Take for instance the scene when the child prodigy Mary is interviewed by the court-appointed psychologist during the custody battle. At one point, the psychologist asks the child about her feelings towards her deceased mother who committed suicide: "Do you blame yourself for what happened to your mother?" Thankfully, this line, which appears in one of the deleted scenes from the DVD, was cut from the final theatrical release. Still, the role of the psychologist and indeed the entire custody sequence was bogged down in predictable and excessively emotional undercurrents.

A film often succeeds or fails on the basis of the screenplay. While Tom Flynn, primarily a comic writer, crafted some effective character portraits (especially the formidable grandmother played by Lindsay Duncan), the dialogue often reverted to his default button of comedy. As Frank Adler, the uncle of little Mary whom he has adopted after his sister's tragic death, tells the school principal, "If we separate leaders from people like you and me, we get Congressmen." That is a funny line. But does it really coalesce with the serious situation of the education of the young genius?

Throughout the film, there was a careful avoidance of the gritty realities of an ugly child custody battle and the horrors of separation once the child was taken away from Frank and placed with foster parents. The film even ensures that neither party in the court battle was too deeply wounded. But when the adversaries reached their far-fetched out-of-court settlement, credibility was stretched beyond the pale in placing little Mary in a new home with complete strangers, who subsequently banish the child's beloved cat to the animal shelter!

In the bonus segment, actor Chris Evans, who turned in a sensitive performance of Frank Adler, indicated that the film was "a beautiful, heartfelt story." That appraisal is closer to the truth about a film project that was clearly intended as schlock. The ultimate impact of "Gifted" offers viewers an uplifting feeling that is probably not very close to the realities of a gifted child drawn into a personal and legal tug-of-war between her adult caretakers.
2017-08-04
An intelligent look at three pairs of relationships: mother-daughter, mother-son, uncle-niece
One way of looking at this movie is its two familiar aspects: (1) mathematical genius ("Good Will Hunting", "A beautiful mind", "Proof", "The man who knew infinity"); (2) custody battle ("Kramer vs Kramer" and many others). My summary line offers an alternative. But first, the plot.

The timeline starts with 7-year-old Mary Adler (McKenna Grace) living under the custodianship of Frank (Chris Evans), her uncle. Seven years ago, her mother Diane brought the infant to him before committing suicide. Frank, for reasons that are gradually revealed, left his highly esteemed position of assistant professor in philosophy (logics essentially) in Boston and brought Mary to Florida raising her in a grassroot neighbourhood. Amidst their lively daily bantering, they love each other deeply, as well as the mundane environ, particularly landlady Roberta with a heart as big as all outdoors (Octavia Spencer, perfecting this sort of role). The only other important "person" in Mary's life is Fred, a one-eyed cat she picked up from the gutter, already one-eyed.

Revealed in a beautifully relaxing pace, the next big plot element is that the Adler is a family of mathematical genius. Frank is actually the underachiever. Diane, prior to her suicide, was on the verge of a titanic breakthrough in solving a mathematical problem that will render her name immortal in the academic universe. With the local school's discovery of Mary's gift comes a generous scholarship to a prestigious school for the gifted. Both uncle and niece courteously but steadfastly decline. Mary is perfectly happy with her life, despite the bunch of idiots (mathematically reckoning) she has to tolerate daily at school. Frank's reason is that his sisters' the last request is for him to "dumb her (Mary) down to a decent human being".

Next comes grandma Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) materializing right their doorstep. We soon learn that her achievement might have equalled her daughter's, had she not left her homeland and sacrificed her career for Mary's grandfather's hand. She now accuses her son Frank (civilly, and in beautiful Queen's English too) of "negligence on a grand scale". A court battle for custody ensues, conducted very civilly, customary skirmish of the respective counsels notwithstanding. I think I'll stop here, designating the remainder of the plot development spoilers. While I focus on the three relationships cited in my summary line, however, spoilers may be unavoidable.

Central to everything will have to be Frank and Mary. While the love cannot be surpassed even by any real father-and-daughter pairing, the bantering aforementioned is fun. When Frank tells Mary that she should know this strange woman materialising at their doorstep, she quips "How would I know? I'm seven!" Upon being enlightened of the situation, Mary exclaims "Holy sh-- ". But there is also depth. At one scene when father and daughter (sorry, I mean uncle and niece) are silhouetted against the serenity of the setting sun, Mary asks the age-old question, "Is there a God?" This leads to Frank's professional discourse of the difference between "knowing" and "faith".

What you will find quite surprising is the affection between Evelyn and Frank. Subtly hidden underneath, it surfaces in just one scene, most unexpectedly right after Frank's counsel's success in discrediting Mary's biological father who has hitherto been a zero in her life until now, summoned to Evelyn's aid. Then, outside the courthouse, we see mother and son strolling languidly. Frank asks about his stepfather and Evelyn casually explains that the man, a cowboy at heart, is spending a lot of time at his range. Taken out of the movie, this scene is a perfectly friendly, even affectionate keeping-up chat between mother and son who have not seen each other for quite some time.

Finally, depicted only in the dialogue (some in the form of courtroom cross-examination) is the relationship between Evelyn and Diane. Through the peeling-of-onion revelation, it seems that Diana has gradually yielded to her mother's steely determination that her daughter a is genius in the league of Einstein and should not let things like adolescent love come in the way of greatness. The final revelation, which Frank brings to his mother, is stunning. Diane has actually completed the monumental proof and given it to Frank just before she killed herself. The paper is to be published posthumously, she told Frank. "But she has been dead for seven years", exclaims Evelyn. "She does not mean her own death", comes Frank's calm reply. The resulting look of devastation on Lindsay Duncan's face is Oscar-worthy.

Evans and 7-year-old Grace are marvellous, carrying the movie with pitch-perfect delivering. Duncan, her own performance praise-worthy, should also be thankful to the movie makers for not stereotyping Evelyn. Spencer, as alluded to, makes solid support. One more to mention is Jenny Slate playing Mary's teacher Bonnie, adding a gentle touch of romance to Frank's life and the audience's pleasure.
2017-07-29
Touching well done film
Gifted is a movie about relationships, family, and doing what's right for children. The film centers around Mary (McKenna Grace), a 7 year old who is academically gifted, she can do mathematics at a college/adult level. She lives with her uncle (Chris Evans), because her mother died and her father has never been in the picture. She starts the first grade and of course finds it tedious because she's far beyond that level. Her grandmother comes to take her to live with her in Boston where she can be put in a prestigious school and be surrounded by tutors. Mary's uncle doesn't want that because her mother said she wanted Mary to be a normal kid and enjoy life and not be constantly taught at all her life. But Mary's grandmother isn't about to give up.... they end up going to court over the matter and fighting for custody. The film features excellent performances by every member of the cast. It also has great writing. The writing brings out the films heart, it shows the love and sense of family that Mary and her uncle have. I 100% suggest Gifted! 8/10.
2017-08-12
Well portrayed formula family drama
"Gifted" is a family drama delving into many areas of contention with regards to children and guardianship. Mckenna Grace portrays Mary, a mathematics child prodigy, whose mother was also a mathematics child prodigy. The story begins where Mary's uncle is her guardian after her mother had died in an apparent suicide.

McKenna delivers an outstanding performance that makes her character totally believable and her situation understandable. Chris Evans as the uncle, also puts in an outstanding performance. The interaction between child and guardian is what drives the narrative and as obstacles appear they deal with them.

The major plot point is a battle for custody of the child between the the uncle who wants her to have a childhood and the grandmother who wants her to reach her full potential and eventually become like her mother and suffer her mother's outcome? This was where the movie lost some rating points because the portrayal of the grandmother, Evelyn, by Lindsay Duncan was like cardboard. I would have liked to have seen some of the emotion related to the loss of a loved one even if it was six years earlier. The relationship between mother and son was not believable at all.

The movie is enjoyable, but it has been done before. I do however see a bright future for Mckenna Grace.
2017-09-05
Doesn't happen this way in real life
People who don't know geniuses like to fantasize that problems can be fixed so easily; the scene in the end of the little genius wearing a brownie uniform, running happily to fit in with her friend at the playground. Uh......no.

Spoilers!!!

In real life, people who are that profoundly gifted (the new euphemism for genius) have more than one exception: she would also be proficient in music, or writing, or something other than math. Unless she was autistic, which she is not. She is merely a genius. The boredom of the classroom would have physical effects as well: boredom for geniuses is crippling. This movie showed the girl not having headaches, or tummy aches, or anything that normally happens when a child is placed in a classroom that is years under their ability.

I like in the end that she ends up learning in a university class; this is good. I'm just saying that it's not this easy in real life, folks. Also, geniuses never finish high school in four years, again because they can't stand the boredom. So, the Ivy Leagues don't want them as students, since their path is off the beaten path. Ivies want them to come teach, however, once the genius has made a name for themselves! But read up on how many kids who are geniuses ( coming out of a school like the Davidson Academy, for example) end up at an Ivy League. Very few!! The Ivies want smart kids, not geniuses. Geniuses who can't take the boredom of high school graduate early or drop out. They don't play the game the Ivies want and take the two years of AP classes, etc. etc. Let me tell you raising these kinds of kids has its blessings and challenges!!
2017-08-27
Perfectly Fine Movie
This movie is fine, it has some good things in it, and it has some bad things in it.

Good

1) Performances were OK, Chris Evans does an above average job. 2) The plot was comprehensible. Which is more than I can say for Marc Webb'sprevious film. 3) People seemed to find it funny. A lot of people in the theatre were laughing. I guess it's objectively humorous but I only laughed once. 4) I laughed when that one kids diorama was destroyed on the bus. I hate kids and watching misery befall them brings me joy.

Bad

1) Jenny Slate's character (the teacher) was a complete cliché and incredibly annoying, the less she was in the movie the better. 2) Use of Hand-held camera. This is not an action movie or a found footage horror film, why Webb chose to use shaky cam in some scenes is a complete mystery to me, and whenever it happened it took me out of the movie. 3) Deus ex Machina. The completed equation crap at the end of the movie is a stupid way to write yourself out of a whole and have a happy ending so your audience can go home with a smile slapped across their face. 4) Some scenes were really out of place. The scene when Chris Evans and his mom were talking in the garden felt really out of place, as, in the previous scene they were in a bleak courtroom fighting over the kid's custody. If it was in another part of the movie it might have worked.

Overall I'm right down the middle with this film, I wouldn't call it good nor would I call it bad. If you like kids and laugh at fun family friendly movies then this is for you. A lot of elderly folk at my screening so I guess if you're a senior go watch it, but I'm in Florida right now so it might just be that.
2017-05-30
Charming and Thought Provoking
What makes a good parent or guardian? This film asks those questions and more. Money or Love, which is more important? Chris Evans and McKenna Grace are uncle and niece when it is discovered the child is gifted. Grandma comes sniffing and wants the child to have the finest of everything. At the forefront is the complexity of all the character relationships. Who wants what & why? Above all what is the best for the child..
2017-08-08
A heartfelt movie
I usually don't go out to see these types of movies, but I am glad this time I did.

Didn't expect to see Chris Evans, but he did not disappoint whatsoever, his chemistry with Mckenna Grace was truly beautiful and emotional.

This movie could've been so much better, if the last 30 minutes wasn't so poorly done. There wasn't any drama, it went too smoothly, the whole court process etc...

Definitely worth watching though!
2017-09-18
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