Monday, June 26, 2017

Movie Review: The Gift (2015)

Movie: The Gift (2015)

Director: Joel Edgerton

Writer: Joel Edgerton

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Allison Tolman, Tim Griffin, Busy Phillips, Adam Lazarre-White, Wendell Pierce, & Beau Knapp

One-Line Plot Synopsis: A newly married couple (Bateman & Hall) move back to California only to encounter an old schoolmate (Edgerton) from the husband's past who keeps offering unwanted gifts and brings a secret to the surface from the two men's past.

The Gift, both the writing and directing debut for one of my favorite current actors Joel Edgerton, is about tension and suspense.  Edgerton does a great job of creating a claustrophobic feel to the movie that gets your spidey-sense tingling at all times.  Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play newlyweds who just moved back to California.  Upon doing so, Bateman runs into an old schoolmate (Edgerton) from growing up who he used to bully back in the day.  Edgerton's character Gordo keeps leaving unwanted gifts to the couple until a secret of their past comes to light.

OK, so I basically just did a more in depth plot summary there more than anything else.  For a directing debut, Edgerton really has a knack for suspenseful scene set up and an ominous feeling that something bad is going to happen at all times.  Focusing on the reactions and movements of people responding to a situation really pays off as your responding more to how they're feeling than what the antagonist is specifically doing.  

Edgerton's looking is a departure from how we've seen him with darker hair and a sketchy looking goatee.  He somehow manages to pull off being menacing but also non-threatening at the same time.  It's a really weird feeling wherein you feel bad for him but also continue to question every move he may or may not be capable of making.

The name Gordo kind of has that same feeling.  Depending on the look of the person with that name, it can have a completely different effect on how they're viewed.  Gordo can be a weakling or Gordo can be a looming sort of name.

Rebecca Hall continues to be one of my favorite actresses and has a really good knack at picking which roles she chooses to play.  

I'd like to see Jason Bateman in more serious roles but I'll always remember him as Michael Bluth...

This movie had the tone and temperament of a small indie thriller and that chilling thought that in the back of your head that something like this could very realistically happen in real life.  That's the scariest part of any thriller movie...when it's not that far fetched of a scenario.

Rating: 7/10