Hello Everyone, Janet W. here…
From the skillful hands of Marc Webb, comes Gifted, a true depiction of the age-old question of what matters most, ambition or quality-of-life. Frank Adler (Chris Evans, yes, Captain Hotness himself), brother to Diane Adler, a deceased mathematical genius, and intelligent man himself, raises his niece, Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace). In true fashion of her lineage, Mary is a genius at age 8. Mary is a prodigy destined to fulfill the Mathematical laundry of her mother, frank’s sister. Frank’s mother, Evelyn Adler (Lindsay Duncan), once she has located Mary, plots to jet set her on the path to mathematical starting stardom. Aided by trusted neighbor and friend, Roberta Taylor (Octavia Spencer) who ever armed with frank determination and care of a fierce mother hen, to protect Mary’s chance at a real childhood.
I really enjoyed Evans as Frank. Like most of you, I’ve seen Evans in action for year. He has saved the world in the original Fantastic Four, Push, and Captain America/Avengers films or laugh at his “specialness” like in Not Another Teen Movie. In Gifted, I was very pleased to see Evans expand his acting range. He is talented; and I look forward to his future projects. A rising star is born in Mckenna Grace. I’ve briefly seen Grace in a few TV shows, The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon a Time. She is spry and sassy in Gifted. Watch this little lady, because she has oodles of potential. An underutilized part of the cast is Octavia Spencer, a skilled performer.
Spencer’s sharp delivery of both wit and determination steals any scene of which she is a part. From smaller roles like in A Time to Kill, Never Been Kissed, Spider-Man, and Being John Malkovich to larger ones in The Help, Black or White, and The Divergent series. The semi-villain Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) of our tale was the cold, heartless Dr. Agatha Webb in Body Parts. Duncan brings a similar warden like mercilessness to this role. She is the personification of elitism. Oh, and I must impart the hilarity and joy from Fred’s presence (you’ll see)!
Gifted is an endearing story that pulls at your heartstrings. The dialogue is witty and deep, i.e. “If you set gifted people from regular people, you get congressmen.” and “What about Jesus?” –“Love that guy.” A solid reminder of what really matters in life. Evans is definitely more than a handsome face as a dramatic actor. Grace is adorable and spot on as a young genius. Gifted is just that, a gift.
GREAT CINEMATIC FOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!
Janet L. White
Your friendly straightforward neighborhood critic