Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.
Story (8/10): Mary is a gifted child who is way above her biological age. She solves complex math problems and provides expert views on politics. However, her late mother's brother, Frank, is determined to give her a normal life like every other kid. However there is as much he can hide from the world, especially her school. Eventually, it turns into a courtroom battle of Mary's custody between Frank and his mother, Mary's grandmother, Evelyn, who wants to have her in top schools for gifted in the country and solve some of the all time great problems in mathematics. In the midst of all this, there is a secret kept safe around Mary's mother's death. While the plot isn't so powerful, the script was very well written which is why the movie was gripping and managed to keep audience's attention. I loved the character sketch of Mary and Evelyn in particular - very assertive, except that Mary had more subtlety instead of visible aggression.
Acting (9/10): Chris Evans is great in the role of Frank. His brilliant chemistry with Mckenna Grace is perhaps the reason the movie was so enjoyable. Mckenna Grace had definitely tough role playing a gifted child with all the jargons. However, the raw naughtiness she was able to project just normal to any child of her age brought a lot of life to her role. Lindsay Duncan was good too - reminded me of Leonard's mother from BBT. This was only the second movie of Octavia Spencer I've watched and she was good again even in a limited role. She made her presence felt strongly in the movie even with two other leading ladies more closely related to the protagonists. Overall, the movie had some very good performances to watch out for.
Direction (9/10): Marc Webb elevated an average story into an excellent cinema. His projection of the artistic side (right brain) of an otherwise math genius (left brain) was great and something to take away from the movie. The humor kept the movie light and fun to watch. I loved the way the relationship of Frank and Mary was projected. Some of the scenes, like the hospital one, were beautifully conceptualized and executed.
Overall (9/10): Overall, it's a very good watch, especially for the acting and the direction. Even though it's a drama but still not heavy.
- Apr 24, 2017