Director Marc Webb has always managed to bring films to life in a creatively entertaining manner. His three previous films have all been really enjoyable. ‘(500) Days of Summer’ is one of my all time favourite films and whilst not universally appreciated I’m quite fond of his ‘Spider-Man’ movies. Therefore despite neither hearing or seeing much at all for his latest project, ‘Gifted’, I was quietly looking forward to it.
The film follows Mary Adler (McKenna Grace), an intellectually gifted child who lives with her Uncle, Frank Adler (Chris Evans). These two main characters are wonderful to watch. They have a fantastic chemistry that is consistently heart-warming. Grace is a little star, easily taking to her character and more often than not completely dominating the screen. Her on screen Uncle deserves some of the credit too though. It had been a while since I had seen Evans play a role other than Captain America so did have some reservations over his casting. No such reservations were nessecary though as Evans proves himself as more than just the much loved leader of The Avengers we know him best for. Joining the brilliant leading double act was Octavia Spencer in a supporting role. Adding Spencer into any film is always a plus, here she plays neighbour Roberta. Who wouldn’t want Spencer as their next door neighbour!? As you’d expect she’s very likeable in the role and makes the most of her small amount of screen time. The rest of the supporting cast also perform well but it’s the leading cast which the film belongs to.
In many ways the narrative reminded me a lot of last year’s ‘Captain Fantastic’. Both films focus on a fascinating central debate on how children should be raised. This made for an incredibly thought provoking narrative which I think was handled very well here. Despite this the film was always at it’s strongest when audiences were left to enjoy the relationship between Mary & Frank. Anytime the story separated them I was always longing for them to be reunited. A substantial portion of the narrative is devoted to courtroom drama. This was an example of the intriguing narrative but also the times when I wanted the main characters to be together again. Thankfully these scenes never dominate the film and the allocation of time for them is pretty spot on. As a result the film should easily sustain the attention of viewers making for a lovely watch.
There’s equal measures of humour and heart running through the story and you’d be hard pushed not to enjoy such a charming movie. Both McKenna Grace & Chris Evans perform with such charisma that it’s impossible not the be endeared with their characters. The film will secure it’s audiences approval with the inclusion of the engaging central debate which complements the already delightful story.
Rating – 9/10
Question: What’s your favourite non Captain America Chris Evans performance?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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