This metaphysical thriller directed by Billy Bob Thornton almost gets there, but not quite.
The respectably strong cast, starring Cate Blanchette, Giovanni Ribisini, and Greg Kinnear, which is only slightly damaged by the unfortunate editions of “There’s a bomb on the bus” boy Keanu Reeves, and everyone’s favourite virgin Katie Holmes, almost manages to pull together and make the premise of this film soar, but are eventually tethered by standard plot-twists and hackneyed devices.
As one might be able to guess, the main character inThe Gift, well-played by Blanchette, has a gift, amounting basically to ESP, and augmented by the natural sensitivity that everyone in small southern towns has. She becomes involved in the lives of other members of said hick town by reading their fortunes, and becomes deeply immersed in some plotted foul play when she foresees the death of one of the characters (Holmes).
This is where the tired, haggard rabbits start being pulled out of the cinematic hat. The “main character staring into the mirror then camera spans out to reveal threatening and mysterious man behind” thing comes in strong, and turns what could have been a touching and insightful movie into a sadly predictable yawn-a-minute thriller.
The worst thing about the movie is of course the unabashedly butchered accents that greet us every time the story goes below the Mason-Dixon, as if Hollywood would have the world believe that all Southerners talk like foghorn leghorn.
Thinky says: You ain’t right, is ya’, boy?