Entertainment

'Gifted' is a feel-good movie actually worth seeing

Posted April 10

FEELSVILLE — Some movies are made to make you laugh, others are meant to make you scared, and some are created just to make you cry. The film “Gifted” tries to make you laugh, but also makes sure to try and elicit a few tears.

“Gifted” is quietly making its way to theaters this weekend and tells the story of a man who has raised his niece since she was a baby and is now facing the possibility of losing her. As it turns out, the 6-year-old niece is a math genius and her overbearing grandmother (who has been absent from her life) now wants custody of her to make sure she focuses on math and math alone.

The film stars Chris Evans of "Captain America" fame and the adorable Mckenna Grace. This film has some issues and is a little heavy handed on its attempt to tug at your heartstrings, but when all was said and done, I found myself cheering for the little movie.

Here are some reasons you should make sure to see “Gifted:”

The cast

We all know Evans as the first Avenger, but what many people don’t know is that when he takes off the mask and drops the shield, he’s a charming and talented actor. It doesn’t take long for you to forget Evans as Steve Rogers and accept him as Uncle Frank, the loving guardian who may be in over his head.

Evans really sells the film and makes me excited for what he has for us once he’s done with the Marvel universe. Evans, however, wouldn’t make such an impression in “Gifted” if it weren’t for his co-star Mckenna Grace.

Grace plays 6-year-old Mary and she is magnetic on screen. The chemistry between her and Evans is genuine and engrossing as the two struggle through life together. Grace is a name to remember because this role will get her a lot of attention.

Alongside Evans and Grace is a talented cast consisting of Jenny Slate, Octavia Spencer and Lindsay Duncan. The cast alone is worth the price of admission.

It’s a change of pace

With all the depressing awards films at the end of last year and now all the action/comedies slated for this summer, “Gifted” was a nice change of pace.

The film boasts a fair amount of laughs, several tears and a lot of heart as it weaves its tale of family, ambition, growing up and being a kid. “Gifted” experiences some bumps and bruises along the way as pacing falls off, sections of important plot seem to be skipped over, and heartfelt moments seem to be jammed down your throat. But even these missteps couldn’t dilute the overall experience I had with “Gifted.”

It’s relatable

While I’ve never dealt with this exact scenario or anything close to it, I still connected with “Gifted.”

The film tells a story that resonated with me and kept me invested in the lives of these people. It may have to do with the fact that I have a daughter the exact same age as the fictitious Mary Adler, but I think it was deeper than that because it deals with strained family relationships, personal tragedies and the oftentimes impossible task of abandoning who you are for better or worse.

Director Marc Webb manages to paint a story of family, both blood and non, that has elements of truth that all of us have dealt with. This common thread kept me invested and engaged throughout the film.

Conclusion

Again, this movie is far from perfect and I wouldn’t expect it to be on any “best of” lists at the end of the year or competing for awards, but who cares, because this was a feel-good movie that was actually enjoyable.

Parents guide

“Gifted” is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material.

The rating is a fair one and I’d say it’s for a more mature audience based on the material alone. It’s not disturbing or graphic by any means, but younger audiences will likely find it boring and over their heads. I think it could be a good night out to the theater with your older teens, but it also depends on their level of maturity and what you as a parent are comfortable with.

John has grown up around movies and annoys friends and family with his movie facts and knowledge. John also has a passion for sports and pretty much anything awesome and it just so happens that these are the three things he writes about.

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