Checked out the new movie Gifted last night, an utterly charming and sweet movie about an uncle taking care of his sister’s little girl who happens to be a genius. I saw the trailer a number of times but it looks like the movie was dumped without much more advertising and even fewer reviews.
It stars Chris Evans (with a beard so he doesn’t look like Captain America) in a very good performance and the little girl is a combination of sweet and sour that’s charming and hilarious. Her mother, a math genius, died seven years ago and Evans took custody of her and moved from New England to Florida to make sure she has a normal life. Things quickly devolve when he sends her to school and they realize she’s far too advanced for a public education. A custody case ensues.
This is immensely charming and lovely movie about a father(uncle, really) and his daughter and the pressures adults can put on their kids. Evans is trying to do what he thinks is right but thinks he may not. The girls first grade teacher (Jenny Slate) is trying to help but things go wrong but she’s not the villain. The girl is both sweet and angry so not a little angel or a devil. This movie has emotional heart-tugging at every turn but it earns it. A lot of movie will try to turn up the water-works with simplistic characters and plot and it just feels like manipulation to my cyclical mind. This movie has three-dimensional characters and problems so the emotional moments work.
The movie is also very well written with excellent and clever dialog throughout. It’s almost as funny as it is emotional and charming. It comes down to very good actors working with a very good script. That makes all the difference.
I highly recommend this movie even if you are jaded sourpuss who wants 50% more explosions in his or her movie. It’s smart, fun, emotional, and it has something to say. And, for the math nerds, it even promotes intelligence and seeks to find a middle ground between being a kid and a genius. I really liked this flick.
Score: 88

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