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!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged bonnie stevenson, chris evans, diane, Evelyn, frank adler, gifted, glenn plummer, greg cullen, jenny slate, lindsay duncan, mary adler, mathematics, mckenna grace, navier-stokes, octavia spencer, roberta taylor, the gifted
I’m beginning to like cartoons more and more. Zootopia is a great animated story that sends a great message to all ages. It has a large diverse cast that ventures into a few hairy situations from time to time. In the world of Zootopia, mammals, predators as well as prey peacefully coexist. An Optimistic European rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) realizes her dream of becoming a police officer in urban Zootopia. You might notice these mammals have been anthropomorphized so they are representing the same issues of discrimination as though they were human. So, despite being the police academy valedictorian, Judy is relegated to parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), an African buffalo, who doubts her potential because she is a rabbit. On her first day, she is hustled by Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and Finnick (Tom Lister Jr.), a con artist duo of foxes.
Day two on the job, Judy abandons her parking duty to arrest a thief named Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk) who stole plant bulbs. As Chief Bogo begins to reprimand Judy, an otter named Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer) enters his office pleading for someone to find her husband Emmitt, one of fourteen predators who have gone missing. When Judy volunteers and Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether (Jenny Slate) praises the assignment, Bogo reluctantly gives her 48 hours to find Otterton on the condition that she resigns if she fails.
After determining Nick was the last one to see Otterton, Judy blackmails him into assisting her by covertly recording his confession to tax evasion. They track Otterton to a limousine owned by crime boss, Mr. Big (Maurice LaMarche) who reveals that Otterton, his florist, went “savage” – reverted to a feral state – and attacked his chauffeur, Manchas (Jesse Corti). At his home, Manchas mentions that Otterton had been yelling about “night howlers.” Moments later, Manchas himself turns savage and chases the pair. Judy saves Nick by trapping Manchas and calls the Zootopia Police Department (ZPD) for help. When Bogo and other police arrive, Manchas has vanished. Bogo demands Judy’s resignation, but Nick reminds Bogo she still has 10 hours to solve the case. As they leave, Nick shares his childhood story with Judy that he was bullied as a child for being a fox. Deciding there was no use in fighting prejudiced ideas about fox behavior, he became a con artist.
From this point, the story gets better as the search intensifies. More characters enter the picture and more lessons are learned. This clever tale is truly worth every child’s attention. Of course I have to stop here so I don’t spoil the rest of the story in case you intend to see it. Zootopia is on DVD/Blu-Ray and is definitely a worthy piece of animation with a profound message — check it out!
[ZOOTOPIA WON the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Best Animated Film]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan tudyk, chief bogo, dawn bellwether, duke weaselton, finnick, ginnifer goodwin, Idris Elba, Jason bateman, jenny slate, jesse corti, judy hopps, manchas, maurice lamarche, mr big, mrs otterton, nick wilde, octavia spencer, tom lister jr, zootopia, zpd