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Gifted review: Emotional ode to sacrifice

 

By Damon Smith

Penned in broad strokes by screenwriter Tom Flynn, Gifted is a deeply moving drama that overcomes a formulaic structure to deliver hefty emotional wallops, and provides buff leading man Chris Evans with a meaty dramatic role that tests his acting mettle, rather than his bulging biceps.

Florida boat repairman Frank Adler (Evans) home-schools his cherubic six-year-old niece, Mary (Mckenna Grace), who inherited her passion for algebra from her late mother. Mary's maternal grandmother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), subsequently materialises in Florida to stake a claim to the child in the court of Judge Edward Nichols (John M Jackson).

While Frank and Evelyn trade verbal blows through their lawyers, Mary makes clear her unerring devotion to Frank: "He wanted me before he knew I was smart."

Gifted is a heartfelt ode to sacrifice that succeeds despite its occasional reliance on cliches.

Three stars

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