Saturday, 17 June 2017

Gifted (2017)

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is forced to take part in a custody battle with his mother (Lindsay Duncan) over his maths prodigy niece.

Yet again it seems I ended up with the cinema to myself. An increasingly common occurrence but the difference is that I watched this on a Saturday afternoon. Which was odd considering I didn't think this was that obscure a film. But oh well, at least I could enjoy it undisturbed. And yes, I was able to enjoy this on a simple level and, as formulaic and familiar as this film may be, it's at least not an 'I Am Sam'-type film.

'Gifted' is a fairly straight-forward drama, directed by 'The Amazing Spiderman's Marc Webb, which trundles down the predictable routes without providing too much complexity. There's the standard mix of light courtroom drama and family bonding, none of which finds anything new to do or say with a well-worn genre as it proves content to play by the book. Don't expect to have your mind blown or your emotions rattled by any of it.

Despite the simplicity and familiarity of it all, the film proves surprisingly watchable and not unpleasant. Indeed, the cast do well to give things a more amiable feel (though Octavia Spencer may want to change roles soon before she becomes too typecast) and the film itself manages to hold back from becoming cloyingly unbearable or from desperately scrambling to the point where it chucks the kitchen sink in hoping for results.

While it may stick to a basic premise seen many times before, that does actually help the film feel a little more focused and allow the characters to at least seem appealing enough to make it an easy watch even if it's on a relatively superficial level. It's not great, it's not awful. But it is harmless viewing.

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