“Gifted” Movie Review
April 3, 2017
If “Gifted” had been made in 1935 it would have starred Shirley Temple. A 6 year old girl (a precocious McKenna Grace) is more than gifted, she is a math prodigy, and her grandmother (Lindsay Duncan) wants to raise her to be as accomplished in mathematics as her mother. The only problem is that she also raised her daughter, the child’s mother, in the same way and she committed suicide as a young woman.
“Gifted’ recognizes that it is of utmost important for a child to be given the freedom to be a child, no matter how gifted she is. The child’s uncle (Chris Evans [Captain America]) understood this parenting requirement and whisked the child away for her own good. The grandmother finds them and the battle for her custody begins.
“Gifted” is warm, sincere and satisfying. The only flaw is the artifice of the uncle living in near-poverty and working as a marine boat repairman . He is far to sophisticated and intelligent to be portrayed as blue-collar (he once had a teaching position in philosophy at Boston University). Nonetheless, I must recommend “Gifted” for its touching moments and its willingness to tackle the important theme of unmet childhood needs. It receives this year’s “Parenting Excellence” award for exposing the deleterious effects of enmeshed and vicarious parenting.