Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

This One Is Straight from the Heart; Gifted Director Marc Webb Talks Chris Evans, Masculinity

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

This One Is Straight from the Heart; Gifted Director Marc Webb Talks Chris Evans, Masculinity

Article excerpt

Byline: SCREEN LIFE with Jack Shepherd

Gifted

Stars: Chris Evans, Octavia Spencer, Mckenna Grace, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan

Director: Marc Webb

Rating: M

Reviewer's last word: A charming cast gets the most out of this engaging, if slightly predictable, drama.

WHILE the box office continues to be dominated by blockbusters, one modestly budgeted movie has managed to penetrate the heart of America. Gifted, the story of an unorthodox American family struggling to keep itself together, has touched thousands, making almost $25million (A$31m) in the US.

Much of the film's success comes down to director Marc Webb, who made the leap from indie comedy 500 Days of Summer to The Amazing Spider-Man back in 2012. However, following the release of 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Webb seemingly disappeared from UK cinemas, concentrating on TV shows such as Limitless and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. And although you may conclude the critical reaction and cancellation of the expanded Spider-Man universe may have been the reason, Webb optimistically says that wasn't the case.

"I think I've been pretty busy," he tells me, citing the delayed release of Gifted, the two TV shows, and work on the upcoming The Only Living Boy in New York as filling his schedule.

Interestingly, Gifted was being filmed when a certain President wasn't a realistic consideration for the post. How times have changed. Of course, people's political opinions were still turbulent across the country, and despite the film's intrinsic links to blue-collar American life - a highly politicised group in recent years - Webb avoided making any political statements.

"The climate when we were making it was quite different," he says. "Our expectations for what was going to happen into the future were quite different. I'm from Wisconsin, I spent a lot of time in Montana growing up, which is also in the movie. I relate to that world. People look down on it because it's not very sophisticated. It's not that way at all. It's a different world view."

One of the script's many strengths is the family around which the film is based. …

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