Search This Blog

Monday 17 July 2017

Gifted, Film USA (2017), written by Tom Flynn directed by Marc Webb 8* out of 10

A very good screen play by Tom Flynn and great understated performances by Chris Evans and Lindsay Duncan make Gifted very worthwhile and watchable summer viewing.

Frank Adler (Chris Evans), a single man in his 30s who repairs motorboats for a living lives in a small Florida seaside town. He has taken on the custody of his niece Mary as a baby after the unexpected death of her single mother, who was Frank’s sister. Frank’s neighbour Roberta (Octavia Spencer) child sits to ensure Frank retains a bit of a private life beyond his duties as a single parent. Following in her matrilineal heritage, six-year-old Mary is a genius at mathematics. Frank is determined to let her have a normal childhood, and after some years of home-education registers her at the local school. Thanks to Mary’s teacher Bonnie (Jenny Slate) things start settling down a bit at school, after a bumpy beginning. But as Mary’s grandmother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) arrives on the scene with different ideas about her grand-child’s education, events take a dramatic turn.

Gifted is a family drama with some very witty bits. Screenplay writer Tom Flynn has done a very nice job of depicting the complex characters of this story and making their interactions and complicated relationships plausible and human. He avoids the trap of good versus evil: the “good” are somewhat flawed, the “evil” have reprieving characteristics. Chris Evans and Lindsay Duncan, the latter as the inevitably British accented evil grandmother, do an excellent job with their intelligently understated performances. Sensitive direction by Marc Webb (director of Spiderman films) allows the grown-up characters not to be overwhelmed by appearing with cute gifted child or its slightly handicapped cat. The result is a very watchable enjoyable and optimistic movie.     

Last week the Maryam Mirzakhani the Iranian Fields-Medal winning Mathematician died of cancer, much too young and much too soon. The Field’s Medal is the equivalent of the Nobel-Prize in Mathematics. Mirzakhani a mathematics genius with a warm outgoing personality, a real-world role model for Mary, Gifted’s fictional child prodigy.


1 comment:

  1. You have done a very nice job of conveying the sensitive nature of a complex company of characters. Sound like it would work well on stage.