The Gift (2000)

(On DVD, December 2002) Low-key, but effective supernatural thriller with a bunch of big stars (Cate Blanchett, good as ever, but also a surprising Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes, Greg Kinnear and Giovanni Ribisi) used to good effect. Sam Raimi’s direction is also understated, yet effective. Interestingly enough, the “gift” isn’t nearly as important as how the characters react to it. I didn’t think a hillbilly drama about a clairvoyant would grab me as much as this one did. The resolution is predictable, but the technique is sufficiently well-handled that it doesn’t matter much. At a time where supernatural thrillers are dumb and plentiful, it’s somewhat of a relief to find one that actually looks as if it cares about the story it’s telling. A small film, but a pleasant surprise.

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