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Levy Must-Sees: Gifted

Dana Levy (20/06/2017)

A Florida uncle has to fight for his brilliant young niece so that she may lead what he hopes is the life her deceased mother would have wanted

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Dana Levy is a British-Israeli film critic based in London

‘Gifted’ is a charming and touching story of a seven-year-old girl named Mary (played by McKenna Grace, most recently seen in ‘Designated Driver’ and soon to star in the Tonya Harding Story with Margot Robbie) who, unbeknown to her and her family, is a child prodigy and mathematical genius.

Growing up in a coastal town in Florida, Mary lives with her uncle Frank (played by Chris Evans, of the ‘Captain America’ franchise and ‘Fantastic Four’) who is raising Mary by himself following the death of his sister.

During Mary’s first few difficult days settling into a new primary school, her teacher Bonny (played by actress and writer Jenny Slate, ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘Zootopia’) notices that she is extremely gifted in mathematics and brings it to the attention of the headmistress, who then informs Frank. The headmistress then offers Mary a scholarship at a school for gifted children, but Frank, adamant that Mary will lead a normal life, turns her down.

Franks estranged mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan, ‘Birdman’ and ‘Le Week-end’), a wealthy Bostonian, suddenly re-appears in his life with the intention of nurturing Mary’s gift by sending her to the best school in the country for children like her. This threatens to separate Mary from Frank. The relationship between Frank and Evelyn is already strained, and the devastating reasons why resurface as they battle it out over Mary’s well-being and what they each think is best for her.

Mckenna Grace is absolutely phenomenal as Mary. Aside from having beautiful eyes that endear you to her immediately, she totally dominates the screen with her sass and brilliant performance. The on-screen chemistry between her and Chris Evans feels so genuine, and their loyalty and unconditional love for one another is striking. Evans is also superb as Frank.

Lindsay Duncan is perfect in her role of the cold and reserved Brit with the stiff upper lip. Octavia Spencer (most recently seen in ‘Hidden Figures’) has a supporting role as Frank’s neighbour who helps looks after Mary and brings her own dramatic weight to the film.

Gifted is a beautifully rendered film with a heartbreaking story in a stunning setting. It’s funny, sad, dramatic, and most of all thoroughly enjoyable to watch. It’s also one the whole family will enjoy.

CAST: Chris Evans, McKenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate
DISTRIBUTOR: Twentieth Century Fox
UK RELEASE DATE: 16th June 2017
IMAGES COPYRIGHT: Twentieth Century Fox


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