Thursday, May 04, 2017

'Gifted' Is Not as Brilliant as Its Child Heroine, but Is Thankfully as Endearing

Gifted tells the story of seven-year-old prodigy Mary Adler (McKenna Grace) who gets caught up in a custody battle between her uncle Frank Adler (Chris Evans) and grandmother Evelyn Adler (Lindsay Duncan).  The former wants to let her have a normal childhood – attending public school, gaining friends her age, and having time for fun – which he believes his late sister would have wanted for her.  Meanwhile, the latter believes her intellect would go to waste that way, and thus, she wants her to be specially tutored, setting her up for a life devoted to mathematics.

If you have seen the trailer for this movie, you would have learned about 90% of the film’s plot.  It’s really such a simple, straightforward drama.  The script doesn’t have much depth and surprises.

Thankfully, in its predictability, it doesn’t turn out unpleasantly sappy and corny.
Maybe because the cast – especially Grace and Evans – delivered endearing performances.  Maybe because it just managed to flawlessly execute the blueprint for a charming, heartstring-tugging drama.  Whatever’s the reason, one thing’s for sure: despite its formulaic nature, Gifted doesn’t feel manipulative or tiresome, but amiable and reasonably pleasurable.

Also, I find the resolution of its main conflict – the crucial 10% that wasn’t shown in the trailer – quite satisfying.

So, yeah, I liked Gifted.  That’s that.

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