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The Highland Echo

“Gifted” is warmly welcomed by audiences

Kalleen Rose Ozanic

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Starring Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan, and the adept child actress Mckenna Grace, “Gifted” is a film that calls into question the ethicality and morality of family relationships. Frank (Evans) and his niece, Mary (Grace), live together in their modest western Florida home, where Frank is a freelance boat repairman and Mary surpasses her expected milestones spectacularly. Mary is a child prodigy and genius, intent on challenging authority. Their tale begins with Mary’s first day of school, which happens to be the first grade; she is not acclimated to the standard school setting, and she has no reserve in demonstrating her advanced mathematical skills. Starring Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan, and the adept child actress Mckenna Grace, “Gifted” is a film that calls into question the ethicality and morality of family relationships. Frank (Evans) and his niece, Mary (Grace), live together in their modest western Florida home, where Frank is a freelance boat repairman and Mary surpasses her expected milestones spectacularly. Mary is a child prodigy and genius, intent on challenging authority. Their tale begins with Mary’s first day of school, which happens to be the first grade; she is not acclimated to the standard school setting, and she has no reserve in demonstrating her advanced mathematical skills.       As teachers and administrators at her school begin to take notice of her unique skill set, Frank affirms his position that Mary belongs in a traditional school setting, as it was her late mother’s wish that she would live a normal life. At this point in the film, a storm brews as Frank’s mother, Evelyn, interrupts the quiet life he leads with Mary; she proposes that Mary would be best suited living with her grandmother, a mathematical professional who would be able to cater to Mary’s educational abilities. A custody battle as to the best option for Mary’s life ensues, which forces audiences to consider whether Mary would be better suited living a comfortable and cushy life, while socially secluded, or participate as a middle-class member of society with meaningful social interactions and loving relationships.  “Gifted” is not a masterpiece, though it is not clumsy. It causes the audience to think and ask difficult questions rather than ambivalently watch a film.     Aside from its engaging plot, “Gifted” features a stellar soundtrack, with artists such as The Felice Brothers, Cher and Tina Turner, and RB Greaves. Both the score and soundtrack fit the film well, showing hope or seriousness when necessary. Without question, I would watch “Gifted” again. It was a well-crafted film that probed its audience and evoked emotion.

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The student news site of West Milford Township High School
“Gifted” is warmly welcomed by audiences