Starring Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace Best known for his “Captain America” franchise in which he has been allowed to show his numerous characterdriven disguises, in this film he really displays his emotional range as an actor. Starring Mario Andretti and Alastair Caldwell, The story of Bruce McLaren the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. A man who showed the world that a man of humble beginnings could take on the elite of motor racing and win. Director Roger Donaldson’s profile of the F1 pioneer is more for enthusiasts than a general audience. If you are into motor racing this is an illuminating portrait of a gifted man who died in 1970 at the age of 32. McLaren’s name still adorns the English based team that has produced champions like Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, but today’s technocratic monolith wasn’t there in the late 60s. Bruce McLaren built and promoted an ethos of The story follows a soulful and isolated boat repairman Frank Adler (Chris Evans) who lives in a rural Florida town, and has just two friends (three, if you count his one-eyed cat, Frank). The first is Roberta (Octavia Spencer), his soft-hearted landlord. The second is his child prodigy niece Mary (Mckenna Grace), whose impressive mental capacities allow her to add up complicated sums in her head with incredible speed. But when Frank sends the young genius to school her intellectual capacity is quickly noticed by a perceptive schoolteacher Bonnie ( Jenny Slate), and some well-meaning prying soon triggers a series of events that finds Frank and his estranged mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) locked in a legal custody battle over the young girl. What follows are intense court proceedings where Frank’s life is revealed, shocking past demons are uncovered, and many tears shed on the way to “Gifted’s” inevitable happy ending. While Evans gives an excellent performance, the true star of the film is Grace who is instantly endearing, with her missing front teeth, fiery attitude and fierce loyalty. Her character Mary has her fair share of tantrums and vocabulary-rich outbursts, but manages to never look like a little conceited youngster. Without Evans and Grace, “Gifted” could have easily turned into a forgettable, overly sentimental drama. But together, they provide us with a sincerely enjoyable and heartfelt story that’s well worth seeing.
Rated M 7 out of 10