As predictable and emotionally manipulative as it is, thanks to confident direction and a committed cast, ‘Gifted’ proves entertaining, comfortable viewing.
Telling the story of an intellectually-advanced 7-year old, Mary (played by Mckenna Grace, thankfully voiding her performance of any precociousness), Marc Webb’s weepy drama hits all the responsive beats one would expect as the young girl becomes embroiled in a custody battle between her well-meaning uncle (Chris Evans) and stern grandmother (Lindsay Duncan), the latter of whom believes her intelligence is being wasted on the public schooling her uncle seems so intent on keeping her enrolled in.
Though the story occasionally offers a few dramatic turns that may not be entirely expected (mostly to do with the backstory of Mary’s mother) ‘Gifted’ coaxes by on a strict plot set-up, with Octavia Spencer’s helpful neighbour, Jenny Slate’s love interest teacher, and the scene-stealing one-eyed cat all playing perfectly into the film’s sugary form.
Not a film that will prove life-changing or profoundly affirming, but still a neat change of pace for those craving something simple and effective, ‘Gifted’ is charming Sunday afternoon viewing that’ll open up reflection without weighing down your own thoughts.
Gifted is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer below: