The Gift Review

Preface

  • The Gift is a movie that I’ve wanted to see for more than a couple months now and I was not disappointed by it.
  • The Gift stars Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Edgerton.
  • It was also written and directed by Joel Edgerton in his directorial debut. And it was a GREAT movie for a first time director.
  • And it’s about this couple played by Bateman and Hall who move to California and run into this weird guy Gordo (Edgerton) who went to high school with Bateman’s character. And after they start interacting with Gordo, some weird stuff starts to happen…

Cast and Characters

  • ALL the cast in this movie brings it.
  • Jason Bateman is right up there with Johnny Depp and Jason Segel for my favorite male performance of 2015, and Edgerton is right behind him (for this movie, not Black Mass. We’ll get to him.).
  • Jason Bateman is usually “that relatable sarcastic guy.”
  • But in The Gift, he was this family man who’s driven by his career. And it was great learning more about him as the movie went on and on. More dimensions were brought to this guy by the second.
  • Rebecca Hall was a great foil to him, the two had this great dynamic that a married couple would have, and I loved seeing the two strong personalities go completely together or completely apart.
  • And Joel Edgerton… This guy was a CREEEEEEEEEEEEEP.
  • He was one of those characters who was so unsettling that he makes me want to treat everyone at school better… Avoid Bateman’s mistakes from this movie.
  • And the way that those main three interact with each other at different times works so well.

Script

  • Those interactions are based a lot on how well this movie is written.
  • The dialogue in this movie is really sharp and never feels too raunchy or gritty to be unrealistic.
  • It also sets up these very intimate feelings of fear.
    • Like, the movie scares you in a super personal and super smart way. No loud jump scares.
  • There were two problems that I had with the movie though, and those do both sort under writing.
  • The first problem is just that the pacing was off in points, where a one-minute scene felt like it was 5 minutes and vice versa. Probably could’ve been tightened up a bit.
  • That, and the second problem is just that a lot of the third quarter kinda goes into a non-Gordo aspect, which was decent but it just felt like everything that the movie had been setting up was being forgotten about for more than a couple scenes at a time when it would go into Bateman’s workplace.
  • Other than those two small complaints, the writing was really on in this movie and it established every character in the most effective way that a movie like this could do.

Directing

  • Joel Edgerton man…
  • Psychological thrillers are really hard to do. They’re typically either brilliant (and when they are, they’re my favorite genre of film) or they’re horrendously poor (and when they are, I hate em).
  • A movie like this could have been The Loft Part 2, but it wasn’t.
  • It was a lot like Gone Girl with some tastes of Zodiac and a small dash of Saw.
  • And that was a good combo.
  • Edgerton separated this from abominable “thrillers” like The Boy Next Door or The Loft because he used these very wide shots with a lot of texture in each one.
  • He used some weird all-dark shots, but any shot besides those ones was always set up beautifully.
  • I couldn’t believe how well done it was for a first time director…

In Conclusion

  • In Conclusion guys, The Gift is a movie with standout performances, an unsettling feeling that will stay with you after you leave the theater, and some really sharp dialogue-based character interactions.
  • There were some minor flaws in pacing, and story focus towards the end, but overall The Gift is Awesome and Worth Checking Out Multiple Times!

***

So guys, those are my thoughts on The Gift! What are your guys thoughts on this movie, if you’ve seen it? Let me know in the comments down below, and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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