I was in a huge Chris Evans kick after watching many Captain America movies as well as the Avengers and I stumbled on a load of interviews on Youtube with him and co-star Mckenna Grace on this movie. I looked into it, watched the trailer, watched interviews with the two of them.... and here I am.
I've watched this movie twice now and my sentiments are exactly the same:
I loved this movie. It was so full of heart and made me cry on multiple occasions. It had a nice amount of humour dipped in that kept it light and funny. And I have to say, the acting in this movie was phenomenal. Chris Evans did an amazing job in his role and the leads had great chemistry but the actress playing Mary, Mckenna Grace, was flawless and the best part of this movie. Despite only being a child, she outshone every other actor and it was stunning to watch how perfectly she performed her role. (Also, in real life, she's just as eloquent and adorable. I've watched many interviews with her and she's so sweet and mature for her age. Plus, she played a young Caroline Forbes in The Vampire Diaries series 6 which immediately earns her bonus points on my scale. I can't wait to see where her career goes next).
Gifted is about a girl called Mary who is extremely talented and is a mathematical prodigy. It follows the struggle between being a kid and facing the pressures of her talent. It focuses on her uncle, Frank, who takes care of her but quickly struggles with custody issues. This movie is so heart-warming and I would definitely recommend it.
Ps. All the following edits in this review have been created by me and please don't use them without credit x
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The one thing that really allowed this movie to shine was the chemistry between Frank and Mary. Both actors did a brilliant job and the bond between these two characters was a pleasure to watch. It drove the entire movie, the plot, the emotion, and made it truly special.
They were also great as separate characters.
Frank was really interesting and watching his growth through this movie was amazing. He wasn't the most open character when it came to his emotions but you can see just how much he cares about Mary. There's such a subtlety to his character but he hides a lot of guilt and issues and I really empathised with him throughout this movie.
Mary, I loved with all my heart. Despite being a kid, she's so clever and beautifully charismatic. She has a great personality that shines through and such great humour with a brilliant sarcastic attitude. She's so beautiful and such a likeable character. Watching her genius balance out with all those times when she just wanted to be a kid was so endearing to watch.
Her teacher, Bonnie, quickly figures out that she's gifted and the story stems from there. It's a real debate on whether they should focus on Mary's academic potential or rather her socialising and time to actually be a kid. Personally, I would side more with Frank as Mary doesn't need the pressure of life ruining her childhood so quickly- she deserves to be a kid just as much as anyone else. I do agree with the compromise at the end, though.
We were quickly introduced to Evelyn and I hated her. How could no one other than Frank realise that she only showed up when she found out Mary was a genius? She was using the kid and it frustrated me so much.
However, we had real moments of bonding between Frank and Evelyn which I think made it all the more painful when they went back to odds. They're mother and son and despite their small pockets of laughs and reminising, they're still fighting a court case between each other and it's heart-breaking.
Predictably, Bonnie and Frank got together and it prompted such a hilarious scene! When Mary caught Bonnie and said 'Good morning, Miss Stevenson' in the tone she usually hates at school... it was beyond hilarious and added a nice lightness to the movie.
Throught the movie, we watched as the court cases progressed and we got to a point where we were introduced to Mary's biological father. It was so sad to see Mary upset about it and I freaking agree with her- what kind of father doesn't make the effort to meet his daughter, at least once? But it was beautiful when Frank brought her to the hospital to show her what birth was like. I just love Frank's unconventional lessons and how he teaches her things and this was such a heart-warming scene. It made me tear up because you can truly see how much Frank cares for Mary and their chemistry is so flawlessly acted!
And, from then, you can see just how much Mary's absence affects Frank. He has a discussion with Bonnie about why he kept Mary and it's heart-breaking- he did his best and it's still not good enough for her.
Frank quickly showed up and took Mary once more, leaving Evelyn satisfied only when she had her hands on the mathematical proof that Diane had discovered.
We had another heart-breaking but heart-warming scene when Frank and Mary are both crying and he's explaining to her why he left. I loved this scene in particular because we really get to see Frank express his emotions and they, again, played the chemistry so well. They hugged and it was the sweetest and rawest display of emotion ever.
What I also loved about this movie was that, while we had a small subplot of Frank and Bonnie's relationship, it didn't take the story over and the main focus was the strong relationship between Frank and Mary.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts. Stay amazing!