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
Southern psychic and widowed mother of three is pulled against her will into the logistics of a popular local girl's disappearance. Although the brutality inherent in the script is laid on with a trowel, "The Gift" has many mesmerizing attributes, not the least of which is Sam Raimi's assured direction and the casting of luminous Cate Blanchett, sensational in the lead. Anyone who has seen Kevin Bacon's "Stir Of Echoes" will notice some curious similarities, but I found this movie much preferable, as it uses a terrific ensemble cast to its full advantage, and weaves a plot that is by turns outrageous and completely absorbing. I bought right into "The Gift" and stayed with it breathlessly every step of the way. ***1/2 from ****
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