Gift

Gift

4.4 9
Director: Sam Raimi

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves

     
 

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Sam Raimi's The Gift is a twist-filled thriller and a very nice DVD. The picture, which is 1.85:1 and anamorphic, conveys the foreboding atmosphere perfectly with strong blacks (a major portion of the film) and nicely realized, yet often muted, colors. Flesh tones are right-on also, which contrasts well with the other, darker, photographic elements. The sound, a 5.1… See more details below

Overview

Sam Raimi's The Gift is a twist-filled thriller and a very nice DVD. The picture, which is 1.85:1 and anamorphic, conveys the foreboding atmosphere perfectly with strong blacks (a major portion of the film) and nicely realized, yet often muted, colors. Flesh tones are right-on also, which contrasts well with the other, darker, photographic elements. The sound, a 5.1 Dolby Digital English track, is primarily focused up front, but a few instances of surround material heighten the soundtrack, creating an unsettling effect at the right time. Also included are surround tracks in English and French, plus subtitles in English. As for extras, there are a few, but they aren't spectacular. Beyond the theatrical trailer is a featurette that runs just more than ten minutes. This short piece includes interviews with a number of cast members and the director who briefly describe working together and their experiences making the film. It's a nice addition, but doesn't amount to much more than a fluff piece. Also included is an odd song, "Furnace Room Lullaby," from Neko Case & Her Boyfriends.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Gray
Director Sam Raimi delivers a long-awaited gift to fans of his earlier genre triumphs (The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness) with this elegantly simple return to the voodoo of horror pictures past. Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth) stars as Annie Wilson, a widowed mother of three young boys who supports her family by giving psychic readings to her neighbors. When asked to help locate the missing daughter of a wealthy local socialite, Annie finds herself fixed between the horror of her own troubling visions and the real-life dangers posed by those who fear what her "gift" might unearth. Raimi and screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan, Slingblade) have spun this modest Southern gothic out of the dust and bones of standard murder mysteries, small-town melodramas, and classic ghost tales. While its lack of surprises may disappoint some, the film's old-fashioned sincerity, with its focus on mood and character, is refreshing in a time when the genre seems burdened by an excess of irony, attitude, and gimmickry. The solid supporting cast includes a bearded Keanu Reeves in a surprising turn as the local redneck wife beater; Oscar winner Hilary Swank, trapped beneath a horribly unflattering poodle cut, as his long-suffering spouse; Giovanni Ribisi, who gives an earnest turn as the town's borderline psychotic; Greg Kinnear and the perpetually underrated Gary Cole doing their usual fine work; and Katie Holmes playing against type as the occasionally topless vamp at the heart of the mystery. Still, if one element stands above the rest, it's Cate Blanchett's absolutely luminous central performance as the strong but vulnerable Annie. She brings an engaging simplicity and truthfulness to every moment that she's onscreen, making The Gift, despite its limitations, an unqualified success.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
Nasty as pond scum, The Gift is a creepily effective button pusher that owes a bit to the original Cape Fear both in Sam Raimi's ruthless direction, reprising a few tricks from his Evil Dead, and Keanu Reeves's unexpectedly robust performance.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
The movie is ingenious in its plotting, colorful in its characters, taut in its direction and fortunate in possessing Cate Blanchett...isn't she once again an independent woman surrounded by men who want to belittle her power, seduce her, frame her or kill her? A woman who has to rely on herself and her gifts, and does, and is sufficient.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/17/2001
UPC:
0097363289548
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:51:00

Special Features

Widescreen enhanced for 16x9 TVs; cast and crew interviews; music video for "Furnace Room Lullaby," performed by Neko Cast & Her Boyfriends; theatrical trailer; Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 audio; English subtitles; English and French language tracks.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cate Blanchett Annie Wilson
Giovanni Ribisi Buddy Cole
Keanu Reeves Donnie Barksdale
Katie Holmes Jessica King
Greg Kinnear Wayne Collins
Hilary Swank Valerie Barksdale
Michael Jeter Gerald Weems
Kim Dickens Linda
Gary Cole David Duncan
Rosemary Harris Annie's Granny
Chelcie Ross Kenneth King
John Beasley Albert Hawkins
J.K. Simmons Sheriff Johnson

Technical Credits
Sam Raimi Director
Deborah Aquila Casting
Arthur Coburn Editor
Grant Curtis Associate Producer
Sean Daniel Executive Producer
Tom Epperson Screenwriter
Gregory Goodman Executive Producer
Eric Heffron Asst. Director
James Jacks Producer
Jamie Anderson Cinematographer
Gary Lucchesi Producer
Bob Murawski Editor
Ed Novick Sound/Sound Designer
Marthe Pineau Set Decoration/Design
Tom Rosenberg Producer
Neil Spisak Production Designer
Ted Tannenbaum Executive Producer
Robert Tapert Executive Producer
Billy Bob Thornton Screenwriter
Julie Weiss Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard S. Wright Co-producer
Christopher Young Score Composer

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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selections
1. Opening Credits [:34]
2. Reading Cornelius' Cards [2:46]
3. At Home With The Kids [:28]
4. Annie Can't Sleep [:40]
5. Reading For Valerie [:54]
6. A Conference With Wayne [:50]
7. Annie Meets Jessica [1:34]
8. Annie Goes To Buddy's Shop [1:39]
9. Buddy At The Wheel [1:23]
10. Checking On The Kids [1:23]
11. Donnie Barksdale Comes To Call [2:45]
12. Valerie Interrupts A Reading [:48]
13. A Visit From Granny [2:02]
14. At The Country Club [1:01]
15. Catching Jessica In The Act [1:57]
16. A Moonlight Talk With Wayne [1:37]
17. An Intruder In The House [:26]
18. A Reading For Buddy [2:38]
19. A Disturbing Phone Call [:28]
20. "How come we never go to the cemetery?" [3:07]
21. Annie Has A Nightmare [:53]
22. News About Jessica [2:20]
23. Buddy Vs. Donnie [2:42]
24. Mr.King Comes For A Reading [:35]
25. Annie's Dream [1:01]
26. A Vision In The Backyard [:56]
27. Annie Talks To Sheriff Pearl [1:43]
28. Dredging Donnie's Pond [2:16]
29. Annie Talks To The D.A. [3:08]
30. The Trial Begins [1:33]
31. Buddy Outside Of The Courthouse [2:22]
32. "I know you skipped school." [:49]
33. The Blue Diamond Revealed [1:34]
34. The Trial Concludes [:39]
35. Valerie Wants Another Reading [3:30]
36. A Nightmarish Visit From Jessica [2:16]
37. Annie Goes To Wayne's House [1:20]
38. A Vision Of Blood [1:19]
39. A Nighttime Visit With The D.A. [1:26]
40. Buddy In The Rain [:45]
41. Annie Reads For Wayne [2:47]
42. Return To The Swamp [:33]
43. Talking To Buddy In The Car [7:06]
44. Annie And Buddy Go To The Sheriff's Station [2:57]
45. Sheriff's Pearl's Revelation [2:50]
46. Visiting The Cemetery [1:13]

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