|McKenna Grace and Chris Evans in Gifted. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)|
MOVIE REVIEWIf you were extremely smart with an IQ that had the potential of literally changing the world, would you feel that you had a responsibility to act upon it? That is one of the questions raised in Marc Webb’s Gifted starring Captain America himself, Chris Evans. As a Christian, if I felt that God had giving me a calling to do one thing or another, I would (like to say) say “yes,” but in Gifted, the answer is a lot more muddy and the concept weighed down heavily on me while watching the film.
|Jenny Slate as Teacher Bonnie.|
|Octavia Spencer, McKenna Grace and Chris Evans.|
There is much to like about Gifted. The acting is good (Grace is exceptional) and there is a strong message about the importance of family as well as how damaging a dysfunctional family can affect a child. However, the story itself is a little too unrealistic as some situations presented feel too forced or unbelievable and there are plenty of cinematic clichés too. For instance, there is the obligatory “I’m so depressed that I better to the bar to get drunk” scene, Bonnie becomes more than just Mary’s teacher and becomes a love interest for Frank and the Mary herself is tasked with some of the film’s stronger swear words. While some may find this funny, it really just falls flat. It also tends to make Mary’s character look like a brat, which is the opposite effect the story is asking for.
|Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) and Mary|
The other part of the story that doesn’t seem to work is the relationship between Bonnie and Frank. The film tries to make a love connection there, but it just doesn’t work. It would have been better to have given Spencer more to do with the story instead. Still, the acting is good enough to get you choked up a bit here and there.
A favorite scene of mine is when Mary asks Frank about God and Jesus. He admits that he doesn’t know for sure if God exists, but as for Jesus he says, “Love that guy. Do what he says.”