Saturday, April 29, 2017


Today I went to the theater to see Gifted. My motivations were three-fold: 1) I wanted movie-theater popcorn; 2) for a hot-second last summer Chris Evans and Jenny Slate dated and I was interested in seeing them on-screen together; and 3) Chris Evans, who is my favorite of the Hollywood Chris's.

The movie was great! Evans plays Frank, a boat mechanic looking after his dead sister's daughter. Frank and Mary have a loving relationship, where he tries to teach her about life, being nice, making time to play; she is a math prodigy who struggles relating to kids her own age. Her best friend is Roberta, their neighbor  who is "forty, or fifty, or thirty."

That may sound like a made-for-tv movie full of sappiness and melodrama, but in the hands of director Marc Webb and the cast it is anything but. There is no over-the-top villain, just people who care about Mary and want the best for her. What is "the best" is what has Frank and his mom, Evelyn (a fantastic Lindsay Duncan), at odds against each other. Should her skills be nurtured at a special school so she can solve math problems her whole life, or should she be allowed to be a kid and do fun things?

My favorite scene is when Frank takes Mary, along with Roberta, to the hospital. They sit there for a long time, wondering why they are there. Finally a man comes out to announce to his waiting family that it's a boy. And everyone is so happy and they start hugging and crying. Mary is enjoying watching the scene, and Frank tells her that that's how it was when she was born. They stay to watch another one because Mary loves it so much.

It's a lovely film about love and family and I highly recommend it. Evans and Slate have great chemistry, and the fangirl in me wishes they were still dating :)



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