Sunday, 25 June 2017

#53 GIFTED


Starring Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer. Written by Tom Flynn. Directed by Marc Webb. Running time 101 minutes. Budget $7 million. Certificate 12a.

In a small town near Tampa, boat mechanic, Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is bringing up his 7-year old niece Mary (McKenna Grace) all on his own following the suicide of his sister a maths genius, whose tragic death is slowly revealed over the course of the movie. Together with a one-eyed cat called Fred and a neighbour, Robeta Taylor (Octavia Spencer), Frank tries to bring up Mary, a fantastically gifted maths genius like her mother, in as normal as possible life. But when Mary's gift is spotted by her teacher, Jenny Slate, it triggers a series of events that sees Frank's mother, Eveyln (Lindsay Duncan) re-enter Frank's life and launch a lawsuit to take full custody of her granddaughter, forcing Frank to make a decision that has a devastating effect on both him and his young charge's life.

A nothing special, straight-forword and rather touching family drama. It's ending is never in doubt, but the cast is so relaxed and believable in their roles that the whole film rolls out in an enjoyable and positively uplifting way, which, thankfully, isn't as emotionally manipulative as one feared. Chris Evans once again proves he's a very likeable actor with far more range than his roles as various superheroes has allowed him. Young Mckenna Grace is excellent as the young maths genius and the rest of the supporting cast are equally as plausible and great in their roles. Marc Webb proves he's far better at this sort of thing and 500 Days of Summer than those wretched Spider-Man movies he spewed up.

This is sweet, funny and uplifting story with just the right amount of string pulling, featuring a great cast and one killer revelation from Frank about his dead sister's final wishes.

8/10

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