Movie Review–Gifted

Aug 8, 2017 by

Image resultMichael F. Shaughnessy –

And now for something completely different- a movie review!

Recently, I spent an enjoyable few hours watching the movie “Gifted” . Since I have taken some courses on gifted, and taught gifted for a while, I looked forward to this movie. I was not disappointed.  The scene seems to be set in Florida, and a lovely little girl going off to school, and obviously bored on her first day with Miss Stevenson, who at least had the insight to try to challenge her, and after that, dragged her to the principal’s office (where the principal immediately decided – “special school for you “).

But there was no mention of enrichment or acceleration, no discussion of Internet courses, no mentoring and no discussion about social skills and developmentally appropriate curriculum. Mary, as can be discerned by any reasonable person is mathematically precocious and apparently there is a family history of excellence in math.

Besides, if you have read what I have actually published on enrichment, you can tell that I am not a fan. I continually frustrate people by asking “How Rich is Your Enrichment Program”? (it is published online somewhere- you can look it up or e-mail me for a copy )

During the movie, there was never any discussion of I.Q. testing, and no testing at all, but I realize this is a Hollywood movie, and they may have had time limits to the movie also. Enter the malevolent grandmother of the girl, who is determined to do what is “best” for the child, and employs an even MORE malevolent attorney ( giving all child custody attorneys a bad name ) to thwart Uncle Chris Evans’ efforts to raise a happy healthy, well-adjusted child. Along the way, the movie deals with bullying, issues regarding single parenting, Chris Evans ( her uncle dealing with  Mary’s teacher) and of course the girl’s boredom with peers and her impatience with things ad nauseum ( while Mary, played by McKenna Grace is mathematically precocious, her uncle and guardian, played by Chris Evans, does try to challenge her a bit verbally.

All in all, the movie does do justice to the plight of the gifted. Fortunately, there are organizations such as SENG (Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted) and conferences, and books and journals to support parents and guardians and to help teachers with kids who are not only gifted, but also talented and creative.

For more information about the film:


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