The Gift (2000 film)
Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Sam Raimi|
|Produced by||Grant Curtis|
|Written by||Billy Bob Thornton
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Edited by||Bob Murawski|
|Distributed by||Paramount Classics|
The film centers on Annie (Cate Blanchett) becoming involved in a murder case as a result of acquiring keen knowledge about the crime through her extrasensory perception. Other major characters are played by Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear.
In the town of Brixton, Georgia, widow Annie Wilson is the resident fortune-teller who possesses extrasensory perception. Jessica King (Holmes), the fiancée of local school principal Wayne Collins (Kinnear) disappears.
Annie eventually receives a vision revealing that Jessica has been killed and her corpse thrown into a pond. She informs local sheriff Pearl Johnson (J.K. Simmons) of her vision and with this information, Johnson searches a pond at the estate of Donnie Barksdale (Reeves), the violent husband of one of Annie's clients named Valerie (Swank). Valerie permits the search while Donnie is absent from their residence, but the latter returns while the search is proceeding. The police find Jessica's corpse in the pond and Donnie is arrested for her murder.
During his trial for Jessica's murder, it is revealed that Jessica and Barksdale had an affair. The case against Barksdale is strengthened when evidence supporting that Barksdale is the murderer is discovered; Annie also takes the stand and Donnie is eventually convicted and sent to prison.
Buddy Cole (Ribisi), an acquaintance of Annie's, harbors a hatred for his father. The former tries to explain to Annie why he hates his father but Annie is preoccupied and refuses to listen to the explanation of the vulgar Buddy. Later, Buddy's mother calls Annie to come to their house as Buddy has snapped and has his father bound to a chair. Buddy sets his father on fire and it is then revealed that Buddy's father sexually abused him as a child. Buddy is eventually taken to a mental hospital.
Later, Annie receives another vision divulging that Donnie is innocent. She asks District Attorney David Duncan (Gary Cole) to reopen the case. Duncan refuses, but Annie counters that if he does not do so she will reveal an engagement of Duncan with Jessica in sexual activity which Annie witnessed; Duncan attempts to bribe Annie in exchange for her silence, but Annie refuses, still wanting justice for Barksdale.
Annie tells Collins that Barksdale is not responsible for Jessica's death and that Duncan will not reopen the investigation. After driving out to the pond that night with Collins, Annie learns from a vision that Collins is Jessica's murderer. Collins confesses to Annie that he was angry after he discovered that she was cheating on him. Collins attempts to kill Annie, knowing that she will inform the police of his guilt for the crime, but Buddy appears and knocks him out; Annie and Buddy lock the unconscious Collins in the trunk of Annie's car.
Buddy returns to Annie a handkerchief that she had lent him earlier. The two drive to the police station with Collins stowed in the trunk. Annie tells Buddy that he will have to return to the mental hospital and he waits in the car while she enters the station to talk with Sheriff Johnson. When she returns to the car with the police to retrieve Collins from the trunk, Buddy has disappeared. When Annie explains to Johnson what happened at the pond, he informs her that Buddy committed suicide at the mental hospital earlier that day. However, Annie still has the handkerchief that Buddy returned to her.
- Cate Blanchett as Annabelle "Annie" Wilson
- Giovanni Ribisi as Buddy Cole
- Keanu Reeves as Donnie Barksdale
- Katie Holmes as Jessica King
- Greg Kinnear as Wayne Collins
- Hilary Swank as Valerie Barksdale
- Michael Jeter as Gerald Weems
- Kim Dickens as Linda
- Gary Cole as David Duncan
- Rosemary Harris as Annie's grandmother
- J.K. Simmons as Sheriff Pearl Johnson
- Chelcie Ross as Kenneth King
- Danny Elfman as Tommy Lee Ballard
- Earl Maddox as Barksdale Courtroom Supporter
As of December 2, 2014, based on 118 reviews collected by the review aggregator website Rotten tomatoes, "The Gift" has received an overall rating average of 57%, with an average score of 5.8 of 10. The consensus was "the A-list cast can't prevent the movie from becoming a by-the-numbers whodunit with an ending that's all but unsatisfactory."