When I first saw the preview for GIFTED, I was filled with anticipation. First of all, Chris Evans…hello! And second, Octavia Spencer…she’s my absolute favorite.
The trailer had me stoked for a good story and hopefully a great movie. I went in with high hopes.
So what’s the premise?
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.
My overall thoughts?
I give the movie a solid C+ and would recommend waiting until it’s out on video to see it. It had SOOO much potential but I left the theater a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong; I was entertained and enjoyed myself, but I wanted so much more than I got.
I wanted more plot development, more character development. For example, the relationship between Frank and Roberta should have been explored more. We were left with little details of their friendship…and honestly, I really wanted more Octavia.
The same went for Frank and his budding romance/friendship with Bonnie, Mary’s teacher. My friend, Andrea, who went with me said “They didn’t even really need to romantic angle; that could have been left out entirely.” I agreed. So much of this movie stayed at the surface and I think that’s why I was disappointed. I wanted more depth.
There were positives for sure. The entire cast did a wonderful job with what they were given. Chris Evans and McKenna Grace made a great team, which resulted in several tender moments. That little girl is a little spitfire, y’all and I’m sure we’re going to be seeing more from her. There were several scenes where she reminded me of my own daughter.
But overall, the movie fell flat.
If you do choose to see it in the theaters, bring tissues. There are some gut wrenching scenes, especially if you’re a parent. You’ll be entertained, but if you were hoping for an award-winner or a movie that would leave you talking, this isn’t it.
Gifted opens today and is rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content.