What does it mean to be gifted? It most cases it means you are separated from normal society and put in a category of like-minded individuals. But does it mean you are bound for greatness? That you might solve one or many of the world problems? What is the true cost of a gifted mind? You can argue that by separating yourself from others that you will follow that path for the rest of your life. You could also argue that the system is what makes it so hard for people to relate to each other, because we feel we should separate the gifted from the rest.
Now that I got my theory out of the way I can get into the film “Gifted”. Frank (Chris Evans) is a single parent with a extremely intelligent child in Mary (Mckenna Grace). Mary is not Frank’s child, but rather his sister’s who took her own life seven years earlier. Mary you see is a child prodigy and is quite talented in math. Frank has taught her up till now, but feels like she needs the social interaction of kids her age and sends her to regular school. It takes all of one hour for the teacher, to notice that she does not belong. Frank though wants her there and believes the social atmosphere is better for Mary than a school that may be more fitting for her talents. Others though don’t agree with Frank and soon Frank’s mother gets involved and tries to take Mary with her. Soon they are in a fight for Mary’s future, a fight that will determine who and what Mary will become.
I think you can make a good argument about what separation does and while this film is not going to hit you with that, the prevention of it is a main ingredient of the story. The story written by Tom Flynn has good intentions but feels too generic after it’s all said and done. Casting the man who plays Captain America is the perfect guy to play Joe anybody and a guy with a heart of gold. Everything about this film is formulaic, from the cute girl and her “Good Will Hunting” vibes, to Octavia Spencer playing another supporting character that provides the voice of reason. While none of this makes “Gifted” bad, it also doesn’t make it special and not something you will remember long after seeing it. One good thing though is the return of director Marc Webb to the little film world after what happened with his “Spiderman” reboot. Webb though is not enough to help this film reach its aspiring levels. Instead the film fails to be memorable entry into this almost its own genre of smart kids and their struggles.