The Gift (2000 film)

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The Gift
TheGift v2.JPG
Theatrical film poster
Directed bySam Raimi
Produced byGrant Curtis
Written by
Starring
Music byChristopher Young
CinematographyJamie Anderson
Edited byBob Murawski
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Classics
Release date
  • December 22, 2000 (2000-12-22)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10 million[1]
Box office$44.6 million[2]

The Gift is a 2000 American supernatural thriller film directed by Sam Raimi, written by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, and based on the alleged psychic experiences of Thornton's mother.[3]

The film centers on Annie (Cate Blanchett) becoming involved in a murder case as a result of acquiring knowledge about the crime through extrasensory perception. The cast also includes Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear.

Plot[edit]

In the town of Brixton, Georgia, widow Annie Wilson is the resident fortune-teller. Jessica King, the fiancée of local school teacher, Wayne Collins, disappears.

Annie receives a vision revealing that Jessica has been killed and her corpse thrown into a pond. She informs local sheriff Pearl Johnson of her vision, and despite his skepticism, Johnson searches a pond at the home of Donnie Barksdale, the violent husband of one of Annie's clients, Valerie. Donnie had previously threatened Annie, and her kids, for Annie advising Valerie to leave him. Valerie permits the search while Donnie is absent, but he 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 Donnie had an affair. Donnie is convicted and sent to prison. Buddy Cole, an acquaintance of Annie's, harbors a hatred for his father, and tries to explain to Annie why, but Annie is preoccupied and refuses to listen. That evening, 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 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 prosecutor David Duncan to reopen the case. After Duncan declines, Annie counters that if he does not do so she will reveal David and Jessica's sexual activity which she witnessed. Duncan attempts to bribe Annie in exchange for her silence, but Annie refuses, only wanting justice for Barksdale.

Annie tells Wayne that Donnie is not responsible for Jessica's death, and that Duncan will not reopen the investigation. At Wayne's suggestion, he and Annie drive out to the pond that night, where Annie learns from a vision that Wayne is actually the murderer. Wayne confesses to Annie that he was angry after he discovered that she was cheating on him. Wayne attempts to kill Annie by striking her in the head with a flashlight, but Buddy appears and knocks him out. Annie and Buddy lock the unconscious Wayne in the trunk of Annie's car.

To stop her head wound from bleeding, Buddy uses a handkerchief that Annie had lent him earlier. The two drive to the police station. Annie tells Buddy that he will have to return to the mental hospital and he waits in the car while she enters the station. When she returns to the car with the police, Buddy has disappeared. When Annie explains to Johnson what happened at the pond, he informs her that Buddy could not have aided her, as he had committed suicide at the mental hospital earlier that day.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating 57% based on 118 reviews, with an average score of 5.8 of 10. The site's consensus states "the A-list cast can't prevent the movie from becoming a by-the-numbers whodunit with an ending that's all but unsatisfactory."[4]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of a possible 4.[5]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Subject Result
Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Male Giovanni Ribisi Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Best Horror Film Grant Curtis Nominated
Best Actress Cate Blanchett Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Hilary Swank Nominated
Best Writing Billy Bob Thornton Nominated
Tom Epperson Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Actress Cate Blanchett Nominated
World Stunt Awards Best Fire Stunt Erik Cord Nominated

Box office[edit]

The film grossed $12,008,642 at the U.S. box office against a production budget of $10 million.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Gift (2000) - Financial Information". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Gift (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
  3. ^ Amélie; Sage. "THE GIFT (2001)". BillyBobThornton.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  4. ^ The Gift at Rotten Tomatoes
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 19, 2001). "The Gift". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved April 28, 2018.

External links[edit]