Monday, May 8, 2017

Gifted charms in a predictable way

Movie Title:  Gifted 

Grade:  A-

Rating:  PG-13, 101 minutes

In a Nutshell:  This quick-witted film charms and pulls tears out of your eyes.  Directed by Marc Wed (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), takes a look at parenting especially gifted children and trying to find a balance for a happy life.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Love, family, loyalty
  • It’s ok to be a child and not grow up too fast.
  • Even Einstein learned how to ride a bike.

Things I liked:

  • McKenna Grace is fantastic as the brilliant Mary.  She has a bright future in Hollywood, if she wants it.
  • Captain America!  I love Chris Evans in anything.
  • Octavia Spencer is always a sure win.  She was recently in Hidden Figures, a wonderful movie about some other females who are great at math.  Maybe this film can help girls to start thinking more about how cool math is.
  • We heard Jenny Slate's unique voice in Zootopia, but this time we get to see her too.  She's irresistible.
  • The scene in the hospital was really touching.  That was a brilliant idea Frank had.
  • I thought it was adorable seeing Mary sit in a college math class wearing her little Brownie outfit.  I was a Brownie when I was her age.  Um….that’s pretty much where the similarities end.  Ha ha
  • Nice soundtrack.
  • I loved the sunset beach scene where Mary is climbing up Frank, like little kids do, while they have a conversation.  Their relationship is really sweet.
  • This reminded me of Jodie Foster’s old movie Little Man Tate that is also about a child prodigy.  It also has elements of Searching for Bobby Fischer in case you’d like to watch a couple of other movies that have similar themes.
  • Fred.  I thought it was great that they featured a “defective” pet and I got a kick out of all the loving one-eyed cat jokes they made about their beloved cat.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Deadbeat dad.  They make me so furious.
  • I always think it’s weird when kids call their parents by their first names instead of “Mom” or “Dad”.
  • Pretty predictable ending, although there is a little twist I thought was interesting.
  • Evelyn’s character seems a little too one-dimensional.

Funny lines:
  • “I dunno.  Try being a kid.” – Frank (Chris Evans)
  • “If anyone takes that baby away, I’ll smother you in your sleep.” – Roberta (Octavia Spencer)
  • “Fred’s not a killer.  He’s a lover.” – Mary (McKenna Grace)
  • “If we separate our leaders, if we segregate them from people like you and me, you get….Congressmen.” – Frank
  • “I’d kill a priest for a Benadryl.” – Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan)    I can relate.  My allergies this year have been INSANE!
  • “Manufacturers of Legos should all be in jail.” – Frank  (I can relate to that one too.  I stepped on a million Lego pieces while raising my 4 sons.
  • “Frank says I’m not supposed to correct older people.  Nobody likes a smart-ass.” – Mary
  • “I don’t watch TV, but I got hooked on Sponge Bob.” – Mary
  • “Foster people….they can watch Sitcoms with her, take her to Olive Garden, teach her to say ‘irregardless’…”  - Evelyn         I had to laugh at that because I’m such a grammar Nazi.
  • “You drive like an old lady.” – Mary
“It’s Florida.  I’m blending in.” – Frank

Interesting lines:

  • “Never get on the bad side of small-minded people who have a little authority.” – Evelyn
  • “What about Jesus?” – Mary
“Love that guy.  Do what he says.” – Frank
  • “It doesn’t count if it’s not eye to eye.” - Frank, referring to apologies

Tips for parents: 
  • Some profanity, including one F-bomb.  I especially hate it when little kids swear in movies.
  • Pre-marital relations.
  • It’s an interesting look at how parents with gifted children need to balance those gifts and provide appropriate education levels with just being a little kid.
  • There are no explosions or huge action scenes, so some kids may be bored.  It’s one of those “talking” movies, which I love, but it may not keep some kids engaged long enough.


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