Cate Blanchett tricked me into watching this film. It wasn’t very nice of her. It’s not that this film was horrible, but when I see Blanchett’s face, I think: Babel, The Talented Mr. Ripley, or Notes on a Scandal. If I had taken the time to look up the director, I wouldn’t have had my expectations so high.
The Gift was released in 2001 and was directed by Sam Raimi. Since then, Raimi has disappointed us with films like Xena: Warrior Princess – A Friend in Need (Director’s Cut), The Messengers, and Boogeyman 2. That being said, the plot really wasn’t that horrible, nor was the acting or directing.
The story follows Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett), the local tarot card reader and psychic in a southern town, as she’s asked to help the police investigate the disappearance of a local girl (Katie Holmes). The town is full of seeming psychopaths, played by terrific actors: Giovanni Ribisi, Greg Kinnear, Hilary Swank. And not-so-terrific actors: Holmes, Keanu Reeves (it turns out he can play a wife-beating redneck really well!) and Gary Cole.
While the film has a supernatural aspect to it, it is mostly a ‘whodunnit,’ that actually leaves you guessing until the very end. The Gift affords a few good scares, and more than just a little good acting. Check it out when you’re in the mood for something light.