While everyone's busy discussing the Fantastic Flop this weekend and the fact that Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation topped the box office again, a little movie sneaked up and snagged third place at the box office along with some of the best reviews of the summer.
This movie is none other than Joel Edgerton's directorial debut, The Gift. The basic premise is that a couple have just moved in to a new house in California for a fresh start. The husband, Simon runs into Gordo, a childhood friend. While Gordo initially seems to be simply generous and friendly, the couple realizes that there may be more to his agenda. This film is a smart thriller that keeps you hooked from start to finish. This Gift has a number of layers to it and unravels slowly but is mostly worth the wait in the end. For the most part, the movie does a good job of maintaining an air of ambiguity around its characters and not being predictable.
The three key performances are strong and really carry the proceedings. Jason Bateman slips into his role as Simon, the husband effortlessly and pulls it off convincingly. Rebecca Hall makes for a terrific wife in form of Robin who is terrified and just wants to understand what's going on. Joel Edgerton as Gordo strikes the perfect balance between being eerily creepy and yet not blatantly villainous. His direction is also confident and never gives the impression that he's doing it for the first time.
The Gift moves at a decent pace, with mild touches of both thrills and humor. The camera and music play significant parts in building up tense moments and do so impressively. If there are any complaints its that at certain points in the film the pace does dip a little slowing down plot progression and not everyone would be completely satisfied with the pay-off at the end as the climax leaves things a bit open ended. These are minor flaws in an otherwise extremely enjoyable film.
Smart, thrilling, effectively engaging and driven by three strong central performances, This Gift is one that deserves to be unwrapped!
Do you plan to watch The Gift any time soon? Or have you already seen it and wish to share what you thought? Let me know in the poll and comments below?