peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2015 08 13 TheGift

The Gift

/noise/movies | Link

$12.64 at the AMC River East 21, 4.45pm session. Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, for otherwise I would not have bothered seeing something starring Rebecca Hall (after her abysmal capitulation to Woody Allen in Vicky Cristina Barcelona). Jason Bateman is fine in the lead, and Edgerton deals himself perhaps the toughest hand in playing the damaged Gordo. Why did he want to tell this story? It has some antecedents in Lantana, of misfaith in marriage and recovery from trauma. It was totally unclear to me why the leads got hitched; is she so unreflective/absorbed in her interior decorating that she doesn't see his bullying until it cannot be ignored? It indeed subverts expectations at every turn, and only really disappoints when it doesn't.

Stephen Holden.