By Hervé St-Louis
September 8, 2017 - 11:59
Studios: Dayday Films, FilmNation Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Grade A Entertainment
Writer(s): Tom Flynn
Starring: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer
Directed by: Marc Webb
Produced by: Andy Cohen, Karen Lunder
Running Time: 101 minutes
Release Date: 12 April 2017
Rating: PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Distributors: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures
Frank Adler is a single guy attempting to raise his niece which is a gifted child with much more potential. When Frank’s mother and grandmother to Mary, the child finds the location of her son and granddaughter, she starts a vicious custody battle for the girl. Evelyn Adler is a brilliant mathematician who gave up her career to raise her children and seeks a second chance to make transform Mary into the mathematician she wanted to be. Will Mary stay with Frank or Evelyn?
I like that Chris Evans could expand his range as an actor with this film and show that he can do more than be a super hero. Films like Gifted are usually what action actors like Evans rely on to make themselves to increase their range in Hollywood without having to compromise their integrity or take any risk with a difficult role. It is a role that he is perfectly suited for, being a bit older and probably ready to transition away from good boy/super hero into more dramatic and serious roles. Other male actors wanting to improve their range of roles, like Shia LaBeouf and James Franco have tried crazier schemes than this.
It is a very good but simple story where the conflict is readily apparent but without overacting involved. McKenna Grace playing six-year-old Mary Adler is effective and small enough to pull-off a role that no six-years-old would have been able to play unless they themselves were gifted. What I like the most about this movie is the ambience in the Florida town. It feels low key but a good environment to raise a child. It helped demonstrate Frank’s motivation clearly about having Mary be raised in a normal environment with other kids her age. The contrast with Boston and her grandma was easy to see.
This film is quieter and not blockbuster material, but a refreshing break from the noise of Hollywood with a good cast, and a credible conflict.
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