Chris Evans proves he’s more than a Marvel marvel in Gifted, a somewhat emotionally manipulative, but utterly heartwarming film.
Evans plays Frank, who’s raising his sister’s child Mary (McKenna Grace) alone. His sister Diane was a maths genius, who took her own life when Mary was a baby; Mary is now seven, and while life with Uncle Frank is far from perfect, they’re happy.
Things change when Frank decided he can’t home-school Mary any longer, and that she needs to be a normal child in a regular classroom. The problem is, Mary is “gifted”; in fact, she’s a mini Einstein who has no place in a class with kids just learning 2 plus 2.
Cue the battles of wills, first between Frank and the principal, who says Mary needs to go to special school, and then between Frank and his cold, rich tiger mum, who expected Diane’s name to go down in history, and now has new hope in Mary. She can offer Mary comfort and the best tutors. But Frank offers familiarity and love.
There are some court scenes that give The Good Wife a run for its money, and Grace and Evans have an adorable chemistry. Octavia Spencer, as the mother-figure next door, is criminally underused, but provides much of the humour.
Don’t expect Oscar nods, but if you’re in the mood for a warm and fuzzy watch, this is worth a couple of hours of your time.