4 stars 

Cast: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, and Jenny Slate

Director: Marc Webb

Synopsis: Frank (Chris Evans) is drawn into a custody battle while raising his child prodigy niece Mary (McKenna Grace)


I wasn’t really anticipating Gifted when I first heard about it, but I’m most definitely glad I watched it!

Frank is a single uncle who has to raise his niece after her mother commits suicide, but Mary is no ordinary girl, she’s a child prodigy in maths, the schools want her to excel further, but Frank wants Mary to have a childhood and make friends. This leads to a custody battle between Frank and Mary’s grandmother (Lindsay Duncan)

The deep subject matter expressed in Gifted, is emotional and heart felt, that in the end, created a beautiful and charming film. The writing was unique and delved deeper into the story than many other films I’ve seen, which just shows great passion from Tom Flynn, through his writing.

The plot was thought provoking, interesting and intriguing. There have been other films about child prodigy’s but this one stands out above the rest. It was believable and down to earth and not far fetched in any way at all. The setting fit the peaceful and soothing tone of the movie, making it enjoyable and not harsh or upsetting, which could then depart from its narrative, if its over shadowed with grittiness, but Gifted finds the perfect balance.

I feel that the movie’s purpose and main goal was to educate you with morals and to create an inspiring story that will make anyone proud, and to give you a beautiful insight into life from a different perspective.

The performances were all outstanding, not just from the leads, but also the supporting cast members gave believable, hearty an impactful portrayals. Chris Evans and McKenna Grace, in particular, were incredible and gave some of the best performances I’ve seen all year! considering McKenna Grace was only 10, her portrayal was comical, entertaining and realistic. As for Chris Evans, by far his best performance in his career to date. We saw a whole new side of acting from him, that proves he can be still be amazing, even when he’s not suited up as Captain America!

Marc Webb’s directing showed great passion. His method of telling this story was perfect and fit into the plot smoothly and wasn’t complex or unrelatable, but just felt natural and warming with a great pace that didn’t rush or drag anything out. He managed to create a captivating conflict between ideologies of the characters, that added a political aspect, which in turn, made Gifted engrossing and absorbing to the audience.

The score from Rob Simonsen, was subtle but effective. It created a soothing, motionless and peaceful atmosphere and tone, that just worked with the story and the characters in it. Also, the music queues were timed perfectly with all of the scenes, which made them more beautiful and emotional.

The editing by Bill Pankow was natural and comical at parts which just added to the subtle element of comedy, and the cutting of scenes at perfect times, to some scenes almost feeling like a montage, brought a happy smile to my face.

The gorgeous cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh was dreamy and elegant while also feeling like a heavenly paradise, for example, the sunset shot was beautiful and held you in awe of such a breath taking visual.

Finally, the script and dialogue was naturally delivered and felt realistic and casual, and not forced or awkward. Every scene with Chris Evans and McKenna Grace felt like we were watching a father-to-daughter conversation in the street, this paired with their excellent performances tied the movie together in a perfect bow, and secured itself into my top 5 of the year easily!

Overall, I would most definitely recommend Gifted, for it’s humour, excellent story telling and career defining performances!