“GIFTED” – 8 ½
In a word: Astounding.
Remember the name, McKenna Grace. She’s among the most “gifted” child actresses in motion picture history (in my humble opinion). So, it was only natural, for her to play the lead role in Gifted.
In real life she is age 10, but she skillfully plays the role of a 6-7 year-old first grader (only 4’ tall) whose single mother had committed suicide when she was a baby. While being raised by her uncle (played by Chris Evans), a boat mechanic in St. Petersburg, it becomes clear that the young child far excels her first-grade counterparts in mathematics, able to amazingly calculate college level problems.
While the school faculty pleads with her doting uncle to place her in a school for “gifted” kids, he assigns more emphasis on his niece living a normal child’s life, not to be set apart from other kids. But that causes major conflicts.
Enter, the child’s maternal grandmother who is at odds with the uncle insisting that the child be placed in special surroundings. Thus, the scenario sets the stage for a series of emotional outbursts and conflicts which draws the viewer even closer into the storyline.
Regardless of the screenplay and storyline, movie goers will be stunned by the acting skills of this young girl, who captures our hearts as much as any child actor ever.
She’s no beginner. A review of her acting credits is nothing more than amazing, having played in twelve movies and twenty-two television roles. Check out the IMDB listings below. She is also well-protected by her managers and family, not revealing much of anything about her personal life, as noted in an additional link, below. Kudos for them.
I’ve known a few “gifted” kids. They lead a rather solitary life because they are “different,” which often leads to emotional, mental or social problems which the average family is ill-equipped to handle. This movie brings a deep awareness to those kinds of problems.
A few scenes lack true plausibility, which lowered my score from a 10 to an 8 1/2. Regardless, it’s worth a two-hour jaunt to the movies, if for no other reason, but to marvel at a child genius at work.
In her next movie, McKenna Grace will play the part of a child Tonya Hardin, ice skating super star of fame.