Gifted (2017 film)

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Gifted film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarc Webb
Produced by
  • Karen Lunder
  • Andy Cohen
Written byTom Flynn
Music byRob Simonsen
CinematographyStuart Dryburgh
Edited byBill Pankow
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
Release date
  • April 7, 2017 (2017-04-07) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million[2]
Box office$43 million[2]

Gifted is a 2017 American drama film directed by Marc Webb and written by Tom Flynn. It stars Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan, Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer. The plot follows an intellectually gifted 7-year-old who becomes the subject of a custody battle between her uncle and grandmother. The film was released on April 7, 2017, by Fox Searchlight Pictures, and grossed $43 million worldwide.


In a small town near Tampa, Florida, seven-year-old Mary Adler lives with uncle and de facto guardian, Frank. Her best friend is her 40-ish neighbor, Roberta. On her first day of first grade, she shows remarkable mathematical talent, which impresses her teacher, Bonnie Stevenson. There, despite her initial disdain for average children her own age and her boredom with their classwork, she begins to bond with them when she brings her one-eyed cat, Fred, for show-and-tell and later defends a classmate from a bully on the bus. Mary is offered a scholarship to a private school for gifted children. However, Frank turns it down. Based on his family's experiences with similar schools, he fears Mary will not have a chance at a "normal" childhood.

It emerges that Mary's mother, Diane, had been a promising mathematician, dedicated to the Navier–Stokes problem (one of the unsolved Millennium Prize Problems) before taking her own life when Mary was six months old. Mary has lived with Frank, a former college professor turned boat repairman, ever since.

Frank's estranged mother and Mary's maternal grandmother, Evelyn, 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, much as Diane was. However, Frank is adamant that his sister would want Mary to be in a normal public school and have the childhood she didn't have. Worried that the judge will rule against him and he will lose Mary completely, Frank accepts a compromise brokered by his lawyer Greg Cullen that sees Mary placed in foster care and attend the private school where Evelyn wants to have her enrolled. The foster parents live 25 minutes from Frank's home, Frank will be entitled to scheduled visits, and Mary will be able to decide where she wants to live after her 12th birthday.

Mary is devastated at being placed in foster care, and her foster father says she refuses to see Frank. When Bonnie sees a picture of Fred up for adoption, she alerts Frank. Frank retrieves the cat from the pound and, learning that Fred was brought in due to allergy issues, realizes that Evelyn, who is allergic to cats, is overseeing Mary's education in the guest house of Mary's foster home. He then reveals to Evelyn, who had been a mathematician herself, that Diane had solved the Navier–Stokes problem but stipulated that the solution was to be withheld until Evelyn's death. Knowing that it meant everything to Evelyn to see Diane solve the problem, Frank offers Evelyn the opportunity to publish Diane's work if she drops her objection to his having custody of Mary. Evelyn agrees.

The film ends with Mary back in the custody of Frank, returning to public school while taking college-level courses in the mornings.



In August 2015, it was announced Chris Evans had been cast in the film, with Marc Webb directing from a screenplay by Tom Flynn.[3] In September 2015, Mckenna Grace, Octavia Spencer, Lindsay Duncan and Jenny Slate joined the cast,[4][5] and in November 2015, Julie Ann Emery was also added.[6]

Filming began in October 2015 in Savannah, Georgia, as well as in Tybee Island, Georgia.[7] and finished Nov 20, 2015. Specific locations included May Howard Elementary School in Savannah and Emory University in Atlanta.[8]

Although the film is set in St. Petersburg, Florida, screenwriter Tom Flynn was unable to convince the producers to film in Florida, because the state was no longer providing financial incentives to movie makers; that made Georgia a more financially viable option.[9]


The film was scheduled to be released on April 12, 2017, but was pushed up to April 7, 2017.[10]

Box office[edit]

Gifted grossed $24.8 million in the United States and Canada and $17.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $42.6 million, against a production budget of $7 million.[2]

The film went wide on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, and in its opening weekend grossed $3.1 million, finishing 6th at the box office. In its second weekend of wide expansion, it added more screens, and made $4.6 million, an increase of 47.5% from the previous week.[11]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, Gifted has an approval rating of 73% based on 163 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Gifted isn't quite as bright as its pint-sized protagonist, but a charming cast wrings respectably engaging drama out of a fairly predictable premise."[12] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[14]

Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave the film 3/4 stars, saying, "Sure, it's a simple, straightforward film, but sometimes that's all you need as long as its heart is true."[15] Richard Roeper gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and said, "Gifted isn't the best or most sophisticated or most original film of the year so far – but it just might be my favorite."[16]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
Teen Choice Awards  August 13, 2017 Choice Movie: Drama Gifted Nominated [17]
Teen Choice Awards  August 13, 2017 Choice Movie Actor: Drama Chris Evans Nominated [18]
Deauville American Film Festival September 1, 2017 Public's choice award Gifted Won [19]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards January 11, 2018 Best Young Performer Mckenna Grace Nominated [20]
NAACP Image Awards January 15, 2018 Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture Octavia Spencer Won [21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gifted (2017)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Gifted (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (17 August 2015). "Marc Webb Sets Pic Pair: Chris Evans Set For 'Gifted'; Jeff Bridges, Rosamund Pike & Miles Teller Circle 'Only Living Boy'". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  4. ^ Busch, Anita (8 September 2015). "Octavia Spencer & 9-Year-Old Mckenna Grace Join Marc Webb's 'Gifted'". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (15 September 2015). "Jenny Slate Joins Chris Evans in Marc Webb's 'Gifted' (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  6. ^ "'Better Call Saul's' Julie Ann Emery Joins Chris Evans in Marc Webb's 'Gifted' (Exclusive)". 5 November 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer begin filming 'Gifted' on Tybee Island". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Locations". IMDB. January 7, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Movie "Gifted" set in St. Petersburg filmed in Georgia". Fox 13. April 10, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2019. Since Florida lawmakers put a stop to offering film incentives, productions, like "Gifted", have been forced to head north in search of a better deal.
  10. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (November 1, 2016). "'Gifted' Trailer: Chris Evans Raising A Child Math Genius". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  11. ^ "'Fate Of The Furious' Drives Five Wide Releases Off The Road With $38.6M Second Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. April 23, 2017.
  12. ^ "Gifted (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "Gifted reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Box Office Mojo (April 20, 2017). "'Fate of the Furious' Set to Repeat at #1 as Five New Releases Hit Theaters". Retrieved April 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Mini reviews: 'Gifted' oozes empathy; 'After the Storm' lacks it entirely". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  16. ^ "Young math whiz gets a lesson in division in gripping 'Gifted'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2017-10-20.
  17. ^ Rebecca Rubin, JD Knapp; Rubin, Rebecca; Knapp, JD (2017-08-14). "Teen Choice Awards 2017: 'Riverdale,' Fifth Harmony Shut Out Competition". Variety. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  18. ^ Rebecca Rubin, JD Knapp; Rubin, Rebecca; Knapp, JD (2017-08-14). "Teen Choice Awards 2017: 'Riverdale,' Fifth Harmony Shut Out Competition". Variety. Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  19. ^ SIMONNE, Mika. "HISTOIRE". Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville (in French). Retrieved 2018-09-06.
  20. ^ Hammond, Pete (December 6, 2017). "Critics' Choice Awards Nominations: 'The Shape Of Water' Leads With 14; Netflix Tops TV Contenders". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  21. ^ Staff, Variety (January 15, 2018). "NAACP Image Awards:The Complete Winners List". Retrieved January 15, 2018.

External links[edit]