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Gifted Film Review (2017) – Chris Evans’ Drama about Family and Love Shines

Gifted Film Review (2017) – Chris Evans’ Drama about Family and Love Shines

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Gifted Film Review

From the first time I heard about Gifted, I was curious. Then a trailer released showing a tender drama about family, and I was a goner. If my intuitive movie judgment was working, I “knew” this would be 100% a “me film.” As months passed, unfortunately, my Cineplex never did pick this one up. Then, one day, there it sat. In glorious HD, the BluRay, perched on store shelves.

The Story

Mary Adler (McKenna Grace) has only ever had normal. It’s a simple life in a small world that includes Fred, Roberta (Octavia Spencer) and Frank (Evans).

Fred is her one-eyed cat. Roberta is her next-door neighbor (and best friend) and then there’s Frank. Biologically, Frank is her uncle, but he’s the closest thing she’s ever had to a father. Today everything changes. Today, Frank sends Mary to school. Mary doesn’t want to go, instead, she wants to remain with Frank and continue their homeschool routine.

RELATED | Before We Go (2015) – A Romantic Journey through the Nighttime Streets of New York

Frank knows Mary is special. He knows she has a gift for learning, and more specifically, numbers. But he also knows Mary needs normalcy. If she doesn’t, she’s going to end up a tragic story in the newspaper. When Frank’s mother (Lindsey Duncan) reappears in their life, with more than quality time on her agenda, everything changes…

Sometimes we have high expectations for a film that disappoints. Gifted suffers no such fate. It’s a brilliant little film that I suspect is terribly underrated. Many things impress, but one of them is the storytelling. In terms of a script, the story flows really well and keeps the dialogue and scenes interesting and smart. Filmed in Florida and directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), the setting also provides a good backdrop that promises even the darker themes will give way to happier days.

The Cast

With an Oscar-nominated cast, one would guess the cast is sure to affect the story in a positive way. This is true of this cast. Much as I adore him as Captain America (and will hate to see him leave the franchise), it’s lovely to see Evans step into a new role. He’s absolutely brilliant. The emotion he’s able to convey and portray is wonderful. He’s also the kind of character that first blush impression proves wrong. This kind of film suits him well. Finally, Spencer and Duncan (a popular British actress known from many BBC productions) are equally fantastic, both earning “spotlight” scenes that showcase their talent. However, it’s newcomer McKenna Grace who steals the show.

Her firecracker Mary is the character we laugh with, cry with and root for. We desperately wish for her everything Frank envisions and know she’ll meet, and exceed everyone’s dreams along with her own. She’s a spitfire character the viewer has no choice but to love to pieces. The on-screen chemistry she and Evans share is delightful and presents a perfect snapshot of a solid, loving and honest father-daughter bond. One of the best things about the script is the layers each of these characters have.

RELATED | Dan in Real Life (2007): A Sweet, Old-School Rom-Com

Gifted | Chris Evans in a scene with Jenny Slate

Acting as another important character, Jenny Slate co-stars. Here’s a bit of movie trivia; Jenny is also Evans’ on/off girlfriend in real life.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, if you’re looking for something to break away from the big action blockbusters, Gifted is the perfect antidote. There’s a little something for everyone wrapped inside its story. You’ll laugh (seriously, Mary has the best lines ever), experience surprise by its story direction, and keep the Kleenex handy. (This one even inspires me to tear up.) Anyone who enjoys complex dramas about perfectly flawed human characters with a moral compass will discover Gifted is a “must see” option sure to draw a smile.

Content Note: Gifted earns a PG-13 rating for some thematic elements and profanity.

Where to Watch: You can rent or buy Gifted (affiliate link) on Amazon Video, buy it on DVD / Bluray (Amazon) or you can rent/buy it via iTunes.

Photos: MGM


Five Corset Rating Lower Byte Size

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”


three heart rating

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a

matter of chance.”



Period Drama lovers, head on over to our Period Drama Archives with personalized reviews sorted by historical era! The list continually updates, so make sure to follow. And then for all the romantics out there, check out our Old-Fashioned Romance page with posts sorted by Romance Genre! A helpful page to find just what you’re in the mood for.

Welcome to The Silver Petticoat Review, the kindred spirit destination for lovers of romance and Romanticism. We cover both modern and classic film, literature, & TV from around the world and specialize in Old-Fashioned Romance, Period Dramas, Classics, and Romantic Storytelling without the excess of explicit content and unsentimental cynicism. We promote content ranging from G to PG-13 minus a few exceptions for artistic reasons and/or genre interest. For more information, see Old-Fashioned Romance 101 and Romantic Storytelling 101.

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About The Author

Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (


  1. Brittaney B

    Overall, I enjoyed this film. I agree with you about Chris Evans. I think he has a gift for quiet underrated dramas. Have you seen him in Before We Go? He not only starred in but directed it and it’s another sweet little story.

    • Rissi Cain

      I have seen “Before We Go,” Brittaney – and I enjoyed it very much (more that I anticipated). Much as I’d hate to lose him as Captain America (he’s my favorite!!), I do enjoy him in these indie-esque films. 🙂

  2. Naazneen Samsodien

    I was an a flight when I watched this and sobbed my eyes out. lol. Absolutely adore Chris Evans and I really enjoy the great roles he takes on outside of the big blockbusters.

    • Rissi JC

      ME TOO, Naazneen! This is, without question, one of my favorite drama films. SO good. 🙂


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Welcome to The Silver Petticoat Review, the kindred spirit destination for lovers of romance and Romanticism. We cover both modern and classic film, literature, & TV from around the world and specialize in Old-Fashioned Romance, Period Dramas, Classics, Romanticism, and Modern Romanticism without the excess of explicit content and unsentimental cynicism.




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