Gifted is a good little movie with an interesting narrative that stuck to a familar formula while still finding the time to add in some darker layers to the proceedings. Chris Evans was very solid as an uncle raising his child-prodigy niece, while battling his difficult mother (Lindsay Duncan, appropriately brittle) in court for custody of the whip-smart little girl (McKenna Grace, excellent). Directed with classy instincts by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, The Amazing Spider-Man) and written with emotion and obvious heart by Tom Flynn, this Fox Searchlight effort quietly grossed $25 million domestic earlier this year after a mild theatrical release; this is the sort of in-betweener that’s getting tougher and tougher to find from any part of the major studios. Jenny Slate has a small part but makes the most of it; I love seeing her on-screen, and I urge everyone to seek out her brilliant romantic comedy Obvious Child. Stuart Dryburgh’s cinematography provides Gifted with a lovely coat of glossy lacquer; he also shot Blackhat and the stunningly gorgeous The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Gifted is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and various streaming providers, and will likely serve as a solid night’s entertainment for many people, both young and old.
Review by Nick Clement