Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Billy Bob Thornton & Tom Epperson
Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Greg Kinnear, Hilary Swank, Michael Jeter, Gary Cole, J.K. Simmons, and Rosemary Harris.
When Jessica King goes missing, all eyes turn to Annabelle Wilson. Not as a murder suspect, but as a clairvoyant. Many of the towns folk go to Annabelle for help, and Jessica’s fiancée, Wayne Collins, turns to Annabelle for possible guidance. Annabelle feels that she can’t help, but this doesn’t stop her from constantly getting visions of Jessica’s fate. Written by FilmFanUK
I had forgotten how amazing this film is. I saw it 12 years ago and loved it then. I’m happy to say it still stands out all these years later. Wilson (Blanchett), plays a “fortune-teller” of sorts, using her gift to tell her clients’ futures. She accepts donations and uses the income to support her three kids after losing her husband in an accident. Her services are hailed as both a Godsend and curse of the devil – just what we would expect from the fictional backwoods town of Brixton, GA. The feel of the film reminds me a little of the southern Gothic thriller, Frailty. The town looks like it’s on the outskirts of Bon Temp, LA, home of the HBO series, True Blood. The steamy summer days and singing locusts add a gritty feel that’s as much a part of the film’s backbone as the story itself.
Written by Billy Bob Thornton, and directed by Sam Raimi, this duo employees one of the best movie casts of all time, especially for this genre. Oddly enough, one of the stand out performances is given by the violent and misogynistic approach of Keanu Reeves as the scraggly bearded wife-beater, Donnie Barksdale, a bigoted and hair-trigger local who doesn’t care for his woman (Swank) getting advice from Wilson’s readings.
I don’t want to spoil this for you, so please rent this one while we’re still in the sweaty dog days of summer. The location, story and breakthrough performances from Blanchett, Kinnear, Ribisi, and Cole sealed the deal for me. The story is raw and dramatic, selling the kind and brutal nature of the human condition effectively. I can’t rave enough about The Gift. I know a few of you just want to see Katie Holmes topless, so if that’s your only concern, I would just google it on pass on the two hours of tier one acting. The Gift might be one of the most appropriately titled films of all time. Enjoy, kids.