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GIFTED

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GIFTED
* * * *
(Good, old-fashioned, feel good film)

When’s the last time you saw a good old-fashioned feel-good movie?
Well, we’ve got just what you need to brighten your day and leave you with hope for humanity.
Chris Evans plays Frank, uncle to 6-year-old math genius Mary (the delightful McKenna Grace). Mary’s mother devoted her life to solving a difficult math problem, and Mary seems to have inherited her genes.
After the math genius’s unfortunate death, Frank gives up his teaching job and takes Mary to live in a very modest home on Florida’s Pinellas Coast, where his goal is to allow her to live a normal childhood. Octavia Spencer, who seems to be in every movie released this year, plays an understanding neighbor.
Mary’s first day at a regular school is a complete disaster (and very funny), as her teacher  (Jennie Slate) quickly discovers that Mary is not like the other kids in her class. Enter Grandma (Lindsay Duncan), the wealthy, domineering woman who pushed her daughter to the brink and now wants a shot at Mary by gaining custody and enrolling her in a special school. There’s a custody battle, which gets a bit nasty, a compromise, a diversion, and then a nice little solution to a difficult problem.
OK, so it’s too good to be true, but we told you this is a feel-good movie, and you’ll love the way it all ends. McKenna Grace is not only cute, she’s funny and very talented. She also has a one-eyed cat that steals the show.
There’s a great lesson about the importance of allowing gifted children the right to lead as normal a life as possible. If you are the sentimental type, you may need a handkerchief...but also be prepared to laugh.
Rated PG-13, with some profanity and a little hanky-panky between Frank and the schoolteacher. We still say that this is a good family movie.

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