Gifted was a lovely exploration into family dynamics, especially one that has been twisted and turned on its head. It focuses on a young girl named Mary Adler who is a remarkable child, a mathematical genius and a wonder to watch unfold on screen.
She lives with her uncle, Frank Adler who fixes boats but who had once been a professor at a university when his sister had been alive. However, due to the pressure of her own genius, Mary’s mother, Frank’s sister, Diane, took her own life. It shook the ground as it were and forced a wedge between Frank and his mother, Evelyn, who forces far too much pressure upon Diane and on Frank too. Now she’s back in Mary’s life and wants to control her just like she did to her daughter. The strained relationships help to push forward the plot and brings out an emotional depth to the film that evokes reactions from the audience.
Mary impresses her school teacher, Bonnie, who falls for Frank and the two begin a relationship, much to Mary’s amusement. Roberta acts as Mary’s friend and guardian when Frank is unable to look after her. Mary finds family in a mix matched set of people, a woman who is not related to her by blood, her uncle, a teacher who she grows to respect and her one-eyed cat, named Fred.
But things grow darker as Evelyn strikes up a legal battle for Mary’s custody and Frank is forced to go to court, in the hopes of fighting for what his sister would’ve wanted – for Mary to have a normal childhood. Things grow worse still when Evelyn takes Mary to a private school where she excels but finds no fun in and is taken away from Frank, into a foster home.
Mckenna Grace and Chris Evans were absolutely wonderful in these tense and emotional scenes, full of tears and heart wrenching promises that ultimately are broken for Mary’s (Mckenna) sake. What began as a family drama, filled with comedic sparks and philosophical questions, turned into a film about love, friendship and hope. In the end, Mary gets the best of both worlds, she’s allowed to live with Frank and go to both schools – normal and private.
Oh, and Fred, the cat, is there too.
And that’s always good.