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Gifted

Gifted

Directed by Marc Webb. Starring Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Michael Kendall Kaplan, John M. Jackson, Glenn Plummer. (2017, PG-13, 101 min.)

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., April 14, 2017

Watching the trailer of Gifted, I felt I knew the whole film already, a rookie film critic mistake that reminded me in no uncertain terms that arriving to a film burdened with preconceived ideas is a fool’s errand. Despite its treacle-begging storyline, this is a film with heart to spare and several outstanding performances. Yes, you’ll want to bring some tissues with you, but don’t check your sense of humor at the box office either: Gifted is a charming, deeply human film, so much so that complaining about its often well-trod plot points strikes me as downright curmudgeonly. Also, this may be your last chance to peep a good, old-fashioned melodrama before legions of superheroes take over the cinemaplex until next autumn.

Speaking of which, Captain America’s Evans drops the red, white, and blue here for a totally different type of shield, that of compassionate father figure and guardian Frank to his 7-year-old niece Mary (the excellent Mckenna Grace). He’s a Florida backwater boat monkey and she’s a child prodigy who’d probably ace Will Hunting in any mathletic competition. With frequent assistance from his next-door neighbor Roberta (Spencer) and their monocular tomcat Frank, Mary’s been raised home-schooled by Uncle Frank ever since the suicide of her equally numerically brilliant mother. Still, Frank’s determined that the li’l Einstein acquires some social skills with kids her own age and promptly enrolls her in the local elementary school under the tutelage of kindly schoolmarm Bonnie (Slate). Predictably, Bonnie susses out the fact that Mary’s a bona fide, pint-sized genius, and approaches Frank – the uncle, not the cat – about enrolling her in a gifted and talented school. He believes that’ll sell the kid short in the emotional long run and so declines. Enter Mary’s British grandmother (Duncan), herself something of a highly regarded intellectual, who’s determined not to let the child’s off-the-chart gifts go to waste, and so launches a custody battle with venom straight out of Kramer vs. Kramer. Tears are on the docket. (How could they not be?)

Synopsized like that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d seen all this a dozen times before, and so the trailer makes it appear. But Gifted’s strengths lie in the interstitial moments of this family’s life that in other, lesser films might be overlooked, or only briefly touched upon in some sort of musical montage. Two particularly affecting scenes – one of Roberta and Mary karaoke-ing their hearts out and a sunset wide-shot sequence that has Mary quizzing Frank on the existence of God while climbing all over him like the world’s cutest monkey – will stick with audiences long after they’ve exited the theatre. Writer Tom Flynn hit the “best unproduced movie” Black List a few years back with this script and it’s easy to see why: Gifted may rely on the extremely old-school lovable-orphan-and-adopted-parent template, but there’s a certain emotionally complex realism to both the performances and the storyline that lifts the film beyond the obvious and the cliched.

Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline

14028 U.S. Hwy. 183 N.  512/861-7070

drafthouse.com/austin/theater/lakeline

SAT APR 29

2:55, 9:25

SUN APR 30

11:25am

MON MAY 01

2:55, 9:25

TUE MAY 02

2:55

WED MAY 03

2:55, 9:35

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy  512/306-1991

www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

SAT APR 29

CC/DVS: 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:35, 8:10, 10:45

SUN APR 30

CC/DVS: 10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:35, 8:10

MON MAY 01

CC/DVS: 12:30, 3:00, 5:35, 8:10

TUE MAY 02

CC/DVS: 12:30, 3:00, 5:35, 8:10

WED MAY 03

CC/DVS: 12:30, 3:00, 5:35, 8:10

Cinemark Hill Country Galleria 14

12812 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave  800/326-3264

www.cinemark.com/theater_showtimes.asp?theater_id=377

SAT APR 29

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:35am, 1:25, 4:05, 7:00, 9:45

SUN APR 30

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:35am, 1:25, 4:05, 7:00, 9:45

MON MAY 01

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:35am, 1:25, 4:05, 7:00, 9:45

TUE MAY 02

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:35am, 1:25, 4:05, 7:00, 9:45

WED MAY 03

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:35am, 1:25, 4:05, 7:00, 9:45

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

SAT APR 29

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:45

SUN APR 30

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:45

MON MAY 01

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:45

TUE MAY 02

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:45

WED MAY 03

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:45

THU MAY 04

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:05, 6:50, 9:45

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35  800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

SAT APR 29

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:20am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:50

SUN APR 30

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:20am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:50

MON MAY 01

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:20am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:50

TUE MAY 02

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:20am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:50

WED MAY 03

Luxury Lounger CinéArts: 10:20am, 1:10, 4:00, 7:15, 9:50

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., Pflugerville  512/251-0938

www.cinemark.com

SAT APR 29

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:00

SUN APR 30

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:00

MON MAY 01

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15

TUE MAY 02

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15

WED MAY 03

CinéArts Digital: 1:15, 4:15, 6:45, 9:15

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown  512/868-9922

SAT APR 29

9:55am, 12:55, 3:45, 6:30, 9:40

SUN APR 30

12:55, 3:45, 6:30, 9:40

MON MAY 01

12:55, 3:45, 6:30, 9:40

TUE MAY 02

12:55, 3:45, 6:30, 9:40

WED MAY 03

12:55, 3:45, 6:30, 9:40

THU MAY 04

12:55, 3:45, 6:30, 9:40

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake  512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

SAT APR 29

CC/DVS: 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 10:00

SUN APR 30

CC/DVS: 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 10:00

MON MAY 01

CC/DVS: 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 10:00

TUE MAY 02

CC/DVS: 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 10:00

WED MAY 03

CC/DVS: 12:50, 3:40, 6:40, 10:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart  512/398-4100

www.hometowncinemas.com

SAT APR 29

7:20, 9:40

SUN APR 30

7:20

MON MAY 01

7:20

TUE MAY 02

7:20

WED MAY 03

7:20

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas  512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

SAT APR 29

CC/DVS: 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:30

SUN APR 30

CC/DVS: 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:30

MON MAY 01

CC/DVS: 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:30

TUE MAY 02

CC/DVS: 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:30

WED MAY 03

CC/DVS: 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:30

THU MAY 04

CC/DVS: 1:10, 3:50, 6:30, 9:30

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B  512/501-3520

www.themoviehouse.com/austin/

SAT APR 29

11:55am, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30

SUN APR 30

11:55am, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30

MON MAY 01

11:55am, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30

TUE MAY 02

11:55am, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30

WED MAY 03

11:55am, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30

THU MAY 04

11:55am, 2:50, 5:40

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

SAT APR 29

11:15am, 2:00, 4:20, 6:55, 10:10

SUN APR 30

11:15am, 2:00, 4:20, 6:55

MON MAY 01

2:00, 4:20, 6:55

TUE MAY 02

2:00, 4:20, 6:55

WED MAY 03

2:00, 4:20, 6:55

THU MAY 04

2:00, 4:20, 6:55

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos  512/805-8000

SAT APR 29

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:40

SUN APR 30

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:40

MON MAY 01

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:40

TUE MAY 02

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:40

WED MAY 03

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:40

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar Blvd  512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

SAT APR 29

CC/DVS: 10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 6:20, 8:45

SUN APR 30

CC/DVS: 10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 6:20, 10:10

MON MAY 01

CC/DVS: 10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 6:20, 10:10

TUE MAY 02

CC/DVS: 10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 6:20, 10:10

WED MAY 03

CC/DVS: 10:45am, 1:15, 3:45, 6:20, 10:10

THU MAY 04

CC/DVS: 10:45am, 1:15, 3:45
READ MORE
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Gifted, Marc Webb, Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Michael Kendall Kaplan, John M. Jackson, Glenn Plummer

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