Gifted is a powerful film about a man named Frank Adler (Chris Evans) and his niece Mary Adler (McKenna Grace). Frank is a single man living in Florida in an environment that’s not really conducive to raising a child. After the death of a sibling, he stepped forth to take care of Mary and they’ve been together ever since. But there’s a secret to Mary that he works years to contain and trains her to control…
Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan, Frank’s mother) was a mathematician in her younger days at Cambridge. She was in pursuit of statistical greatness, striving to solve formulas and prove quotients that would put her in the annals of numerical history. But that was cut short after she had kids, one of them being Frank. Frank too was a child prodigy but he couldn’t reach his potential or the goals his mom set forth. Seeing this trend is why she (Evelyn) ferociously sought custody of Mary.
Even though she (Mary) was in 1st grade, she was doing college level math, with ease. All throughout her life, she followed her uncle’s plan to hide her genius from the public, so as not to bring any attention her way that could separate them. He homeschooled her for as long as he could, but a new job took priority of his availability during day hours.
I can understand and appreciate both the viewpoints of Frank and his mother Evelyn. Although Evelyn’s intentions were a bit more selfish than Frank’s, at the end of the day, she just wanted her granddaughter to reach her potential. The other side of that is what Frank was trying to avoid, which was the public attention and critical acclaim. He wanted Mary to live a normal life and experience being a kid. He knew that if her talent was discovered that she’d be shipped off to a private school, used for public speaking, etc. All of which are not normal activities for a 7-year-old.
This film is very powerful. It’s one of those pieces that everyone can relate to because we’ve all been children, everyone’s family experience is different, and we’ve all attended school at various levels. Gifted gets a 9 out of 10. Other appearances include Octavia Spencer, Jenny Tate, and Michael Kendall Kaplan.