I recently saw the movie Gifted which I chose after careful consideration. I wanted to see a reflective film that I would remember and later ponder. I was not disappointed. It was about a six and half-year old mathematical genius named Mary (McKenna Grace).
When the movie opens, she is attending school for the first time after being home-schooled by her Uncle Frank (Chris Evans). He is raising her after her mathematical whiz mom took her own life. She left Mary in her brother’s care and he wants to make sure that Mary doesn’t follow down the same unbalanced path.
In spite of her exceptional math talents, he wants her to have good social skills and live as normal a life as possible. When, she starts going to a public school, problems ensue because she is lacking in the people department. She provokes the principal, breaks an older bully’s nose while protecting a class mate and generally causes an uproar in her second grade class.
In the midst of the upheaval, her estranged but wealthy grandmother steps in and wants custody of Mary. She has never shown an interest in her before, but she has her own private agenda. She wants Mary to help her solve a mathematical equation that would give her a long-desired fame. She also went to school to be a mathematician, but had to put her career on hold to raise her family.
The movie takes a lot of twists and turns as the court battle plays out between the uncle and the hard-hearted grandmother (Lindsey Duncan). Roberta (Octavia Spencer), his landlord, is supportive and acts as a surrogate to young Mary on a daily basis.
This sensitive movie shows the uncle fighting for Mary’s chance to have as normal a life as possible. He is haunted by his sister’s suicide and remembers her lack of personal happiness. He wants to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to his niece even if she does eventually attend a gifted school.
For a while, he plays along with the court’s rulings and lets Mary live with a foster family. But he finds out that all is not well and that the grandmother is still privately working her plan to exploit Mary’s gift.
He finally reveals a long withheld bargaining chip and plays it like a winning chess piece. It makes the affluent grandmother back down and give him full custody of Mary. See Gifted and discover what illusive olive branch he extends to save Mary’s life!
Lynn M. May 20, 2017