Tuesday, January 23, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 80



Talent in ‘The Gifti features ensemble cast, writers and director

By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff

With a good director, a well-done story line and an all-star cast, The Gift should be considered a must-see film. And although the story may seem to get just a little thin, The Gift meets and exceeds its expectations.

Director Sam Raimi does well with a story full of suspense that relies heavily on actors filling out colorful and energized characters. Raimi may not be as well-known as other directors, but in works such as For Love of the Game and A Simple Plan, Raimi has established his ability to entertain with simple plots.

It was not difficult for Raimi to make The Giftis story line suspenseful or entertaining for audiences. Screenwriters Billy Bob Thorton (Slingblade) and Tom Epperson, who have collaborated in the past on a number of movies, created a story full of twists and diverse material.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Cate Blanchett and Greg Kinnear star in director Sam Raimiis aThe Gift. Blanchett is featured in the film as a woman with telepathic powers.

The Gift follows Annie Wilsonis (Cate Blanchett) way of making ends meet, which is reading into peopleis past and future. Annie is relied on by some to lead them, and is criticized by many others who view her as a witch. 

The twists in the story begin when Annieis premonitions actually occur.

But entertainment is found throughout The Gift as Blanchett and the rest of the filmis cast is seen delivering great acting performances. Thorton and Eppersonis characters are more than accommodated by a number of actors who shed their egos and allow great material to lead them.

Blanchett, whose role in Elizabeth earned her a Best Actress nomination at 1999is Oscars, shows why she can be depended on to fill a filmis lead role. Greg Kinnear, who was nominated in 1998 for the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in "As Good As It Gets", also continues to polish his acting ability with this film.

Both Hilary Swank (Boys Donit Cry) and Keanu Reeves (Matrix) add different material to their resume with their roles in The Gift. And Katie Holmes seems to break out of her innocent Dawsonis Creek shell with her pert and promiscuous ways in the film as she eyes anything that moves.

But Giovanni Ribisiis performance in the film as Buddy Cole, a deeply disturbed customer of Annieis, lends the film another one of his selfless performances. Ribisiis acting in the film is similar to his performance in The Other Sister, only darker and more extreme. If moviegoers know and enjoy Ribisiis past performances, they will not want to miss this film.

With the cast and its performance, "The Gift" is worth seeing. Even though the story may become a bit predictable in some areas, The Giftis diverse characters and entertaining material will hold the audienceis attention and keep people guessing until the end.

The Gift

*** (of five)
Rated: R
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Greg Kinnear, Hilary Swank

Paramount Pictures

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