Gifted parents guide

Gifted Parent Guide

Despite the obvious bias in the script, viewers will find themselves drawn into the big issues being debated here.

Overall B+

A custody battle ensues over a gifted math prodigy (Mckenna Grace) when her Uncle Frank (Chris Evans) wants to let the six-year-old be a normal kid, but her Grandmother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) wants her to pursue her talents.

Release date April 12, 2017

Violence B
Sexual Content C+
Profanity C-
Substance Use C-

Why is Gifted rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Gifted PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material.

Run Time: 101 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

What would you do if you had a child who possessed an exceptional ability? Would you give them every opportunity to develop that talent, perhaps even to the exclusion of all other activities? Or would you want to broaden their interests, perhaps even to the neglect of their natural gift?

That is the dilemma explored in this movie. Mary (Mckenna Grace) has an extraordinary mind for math. Frank (Chris Evans), her uncle and guardian, wants the six-year-old to have an ordinary childhood, so he enrolls her in a regular first grade classroom. He hopes the environment will help her to socialize with other kids and expose her to a variety of learning experiences.

But Mary doesn’t blend into the crowd for long. Her boredom with the simplicity of her assignments attracts the attention of her teacher, Miss Stevenson (Jenny Slate), who excitedly shares the discovery with her superiors. When the school administrators realize that Frank has no intention of encouraging his niece to reach her full potential, they seek out another of Mary’s relatives, looking for more cooperation in what they believe is right for the student.

Who they contact is Evelyn Adler (Lindsay Duncan), the estranged grandmother of Mary, and mother of Frank. Although Evelyn has previously taken no interest in the illegitimate girl, she is suddenly very excited at the prospect of a genius in the family. With enough money and connections at her disposal to really give Mary a chance to make something of herself, Evelyn takes legal action against her son Frank so she can have custody of the prodigy.

The courtroom provides the perfect place to debate the pros and cons of “gifts”. Evelyn makes the case that such an endowment comes with the responsibility to use it for the good of mankind. Frank argues for a balance of education that gives a kid a chance to enjoy being a kid. And their lawyers go head to head by exposing hidden secrets and private hurts that explain some of the motives behind their clients’ divided opinions. Meanwhile Mary becomes a pawn in this adult game of life.

Some of the information disclosed is a bit heavy for what is intended to be a feel-good film. Along with mentions of a single woman’s pregnancy, there are discussions of suicide and references to dysfunctional family relationships. Other content concerns include depictions of sexual activity between an unmarried couple (passionate kissing and a morning after scene) and some crude talk. Alcohol is consumed to the point of drunkenness. Schoolyard bullying is shown (a child gets a bloody and broken nose). And a few profanities, as well as a single sexual expletive are heard.

Despite the obvious bias in the script, viewers will find themselves drawn into the big issues presented here. Providing more tug-of-war moments than you might expect, the film champions doing what is best for the child – but shows some of the challenges involved in determining exactly what that course of action maybe.

Directed by Marc Webb. Starring Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Lindsay Duncan. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release April 12, 2017. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Gifted rated PG-13? Gifted is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material.

Violence: Characters discuss and are sorrowful over parents who have disowned their children. Adults and children make vain threats or say hurtful things to one another. An angry child hits her caregiver. Characters talk about a person who committed suicide is several scenes. A pet cat has only one eye. The prospect of euthanasia for unwanted animals is implied. Schoolyard bullying is depicted. One child hits another and breaks his nose. A child trips and taunts another student. Adults use their influence over children for their own purposes. A child feels betrayed by adults in her life.

Sexual Content: Sexual talk and some crude slang phrases are used. The pregnancy of an unwed woman is discussed, along with other conversations about sexual relations. A drunken, unmarried couple engage in sexual activity (They kiss passionately and fall into bed together. Despite talking about being more responsible in their behavior, they are shown in bed together the next morning.) A character expresses regrets over a sexual encounter.

Profanity: One sexual expletive is used. Mild and moderate profanities, along with racial slurs, are spoken infrequently. Some rude slang and crude talk are heard.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink at a bar on several occasions, occasionally to the point of drunkenness.

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Gifted Parents' Guide

Why does Frank feel so strongly that Mary should attend an ordinary school and make ordinary friends? Why is his greatest fear ruining Mary’s life? What does he mean when he tells the school principal to try to, “Dumb her down into a decent human being”? Do you agree with his plans for Mary’s future?

What does Evelyn want for Mary? What are her ulterior motives? What things can she give Mary that Frank cannot (or will not)? How do you feel about her goals for Mary’s future? Do children with exceptional gifts have a responsibility to use them for the betterment of mankind?

If you were Mary, what would you want for your life? If you were the caregiver for a child with unusual abilities, how would you feel about helping them develop those talents? How important would it be to you to give him/her a chance to be a kid? Is it possible to do both?

In the movie, Evelyn introduces Mary to the Millennial Questions. Learn more about these math problems. Here is some information about Grigori Perelman, a Russian mathematician and only person to date to have solved one of these conundrums.

News About "Gifted"

From the Studio:
Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy - his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) in a coastal town in Florida. Frank's plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old's mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank's formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary's landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary's teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Gifted movie is July 25, 2017. Here are some details…

On July 25, 2017, Gifted releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Deleted Scenes
- Featurettes
- On Location: Gifted
- Gallery

Related home video titles:

A woman faces many challenges when she becomes the guardian of her sister’s children in Raising Helen. A young boy is left in the curious care of his great uncles in Secondhand Lions. Gifted chess players face the pros and cons of their talents in Searching for Bobby Fischer and Queen of Katwe.