Gifted is a heartfelt story about a seven year old who is a mathematical genius. When someone tells you that, you tend to think algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry and maybe algorithms as the child gets older. Gifted went into areas of mathematics way beyond the average. I wondered if a child’s brain could truly be capable of handling some of the problems mentioned in the movie. I found it remarkable that a child’s mind could actually process math as advanced as that. Their living situation was somewhat unique, complete with an over zealous grandmother who is full of tricks and a dead mother, made for an interesting, suspenseful film with a most adorable child.
After much debate, Mary Adler (Mckenna Grace) starts first grade at a normal school, just outside of Tampa, despite her obvious mathematical genius. She had already mastered advanced calculus, which her teacher, Bonnie Stevenson, (Jenny Slate) soon discovered. Mary is offered a scholarship to a private school for gifted children. However, her uncle and de facto guardian, Frank Adler, (Chris Evans) turns it down. According to a promise he made to his sister Diane and his knowledge of schools for the gifted, he thought Mary would have a better chance at a “normal” childhood if she stayed right where she was.
Mary’s mother, Diane had been a promising mathematician, dedicated to the Navier–Stokes problem (one of the unsolved Millennium Prize Problems) before committing suicide when Mary was six months old. Mary has lived with Frank ever since. However, Frank’s estranged mother and Mary’s maternal-grandmother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) seeks to gain custody of Mary and move her to Massachusetts, believing that Mary is a “one-in-a-billion” mathematical prodigy who should be specially tutored in preparation for a life devoted to mathematics. Frank remains adamant that his sister would want Mary to be in a normal public school and have the childhood she didn’t have. Frank hires a lawyer, Greg Cullen (Glenn Plummer) to fight against his mother in court. Here we learn family secrets and get to see the real character behind the players. Frank and Mary enjoy a close family relationship with Roberta Taylor, (Octavia Spencer) who is also their landlady and Mary’s part-time caregiver.
From this point on, we see some interesting turns and wonder where Mary should end up. I found Gifted to be enlightening, interesting and delightful. Gifted is very well acted (a star is born in Mckenna Grace) and a good family movie. Check it out!