ⓘ The Gift (2000 film)

                                     

ⓘ The Gift (2000 film)

The Gift is a 2000 American supernatural thriller film directed by Sam Raimi, written by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, and based on the alleged psychic experiences of Thorntons mother.

The film centers on Annie Cate Blanchett becoming involved in a murder case as a result of acquiring knowledge about the crime through extrasensory perception. The cast also includes Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear.

                                     

1. Plot

In the town of Brixton, Georgia, widow Annie Wilson Cate Blanchett is a clairvoyant fortune-teller. Jessica King Katie Holmes, the fiancee of local school teacher, Wayne Collins Greg Kinnear, disappears.

Annie receives a vision revealing that Jessica has been killed and her corpse thrown into a pond. She informs local sheriff Pearl Johnson J.K. Simmons of her vision, and despite his skepticism, Johnson searches a pond at the home of Donnie Barksdale Keanu Reeves, the abusive husband of one of Annies clients, Valerie Hilary Swank. Donnie had previously threatened Annie and her two children after Annie advised Valerie to leave him. Valerie permits the search while Donnie is absent, but he returns while the search is proceeding. The police find Jessicas corpse in the pond and Donnie is arrested for her murder.

During his trial for Jessicas murder, it is revealed that Jessica and Donnie had an affair. Donnie is convicted and sent to prison. Buddy Cole Giovanni Ribisi, a mentally ill acquaintance of Annies, harbors a hatred for his father, and tries to explain to Annie why, but Annie is preoccupied and refuses to listen. That evening, Buddys mother calls Annie to come to their house, as Buddy has snapped and has his father bound to a chair. Buddy sets his father on fire, and it is revealed that Buddys father sexually abused him as a child. Buddy is eventually taken to a mental hospital.

Later, Annie receives another vision divulging that Donnie is innocent. She asks prosecutor David Duncan Gary Cole to reopen the case. After Duncan declines, Annie counters that if he does not do so she will reveal David and Jessicas affair, which she witnessed. Duncan attempts to bribe Annie in exchange for her silence, but Annie refuses.

Annie tells Wayne that Donnie is not responsible for Jessicas death, and that Duncan will not reopen the investigation. At Waynes suggestion, he and Annie drive out to the pond that night, where Annie learns from a vision that Wayne is actually the murderer. Wayne confesses to Annie that he was angry after he discovered that she was cheating on him with Donnie. Wayne attempts to kill Annie by striking her in the head with a flashlight, but Buddy appears and knocks him out. Annie and Buddy lock the unconscious Wayne in the trunk of Annies car.

To stop her head wound from bleeding, Buddy uses a handkerchief that Annie had lent him earlier. The two drive to the police station. Annie tells Buddy that he will have to return to the mental hospital and he waits in the car while she enters the station. When she returns to the car with the police, Buddy has disappeared. When Annie explains to Johnson what happened at the pond, he informs her that Buddy could not have aided her, as he had committed suicide at the mental hospital earlier that day.

                                     

2. Reception

Critical response

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating 57% based on 118 reviews, with an average score of 5.8 of 10. The sites consensus states "the A-list cast cant prevent the movie from becoming a by-the-numbers whodunit with an ending thats all but unsatisfactory."

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of a possible 4.

Box office

The film grossed $12.008.642 at the U.S. box office against a production budget of $10 million.