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.
What We Thought:
I’ll say this about Gifted, if women didn’t want Chris Evans before seeing this movie, they will after watching it. The film may be by-the-books, but Evans and his young co-star Mckenna Grace are very good in it.
Evans plays the uncle of Mary, a gifted young mathematician who goes to school for the first time. Her mother is dead and she is used to living and being with just her uncle. She soon learns she’s not like the other kids and the school doesn’t know what to do with her. The principal thinks she should go to a private school for gifted students, but Evans wants her to be a normal kid. Her grandmother gets involved and it becomes a family courtroom drama.
We’ve seen films like this many times before. I Am Sam comes to mind immediately, but the young actress is so good you don’t mind the predictable storylines. I don’t know where they found Miss Grace, but she goes toe to toe opposite Evans, Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer and more. She’s pretty dynamite in the film.
Most people immediately think of Captain America when you say Chris Evans so seeing his performance in this might surprise them. It shouldn’t if you’ve seen him in Snowpiercer or The Iceman. Chris is a solid actor and he’s really good in this. You’ll fall in love with him as the uncle trying to do right for his niece. He feels what he’s doing is what his sister would have wanted for her daughter. He threw away his own career to hide his niece and give her a normal life.
The film is far from perfect. You pretty much know how it will end without even having to watch it. The side love story between Evans and Jenny Slate is completely unnecessary, but they did look cute together. It doesn’t try to anything new, but I’m ok with that.
Director Marc Webb returns to lower budget filmmaking with Gifted and I’m glad to see his return. I wasn’t a fan of his Spiderman movies, but I don’t know if he’s the reason to blame. The film doesn’t rewrite the book, but it’s extremely well acted. I liked it a lot.
Cast & Crew:
- Chris Evans
- Mckenna Grace
- Lindsay Duncan
- Jenny Slate
- Octavia Spencer
- Director Marc Webb
Recommended If You Like:
- I Am Sam
- Family Dramas
- Chris Evans