Annie Wilson, Cate Blanchett, is a widow living in a small town in Georgia; she still hasn`t recovered from the death of her husband, in a workplace accident, a year ago, but she`s fiercely determined to raise her three sons as best she can. Annie has the gift of secondsight, inherited from her randmother. She uses it to give advice, to tell fortunes; and this gets her into trouble when she tells abused wife Valerie Barksdale (Hilary Swank) to leave her brutal redneck husband, Donnie (Keanu Reeves). When the flighty fiancee, Katie Holmes, of school principal Wayne Collins, Greg Kinnear, goes missing, Annie has a vision of where the girl`s body can be found - Donnie`s implicated, and he`s angry... If ever there was a case of an actor transcending a role it`s Cate Blanchett in THE GIFT. Without her, this could have been just an average supernatural thriller, with director Sam Raimi pumping in the fog effects and providing a few scary moments. But Blanchett lives and breathes her role; she acts with every bone in her body, she inhabits the character. And she seems to inspire her co-stars, who are all pretty fine. THE GIFT is still a fairly run of the mill thriller, but it`s worth seeing for Blanchett`s luminous performance.Comments from Margaret PomeranzThis pot-boiler of a film is elevated beyond its B-grade ghostly thriller origins by some outstanding performances, notably Cate Blanchett as the psychic single mother and an astonishingly effective Keanu Reeves as the wife-beating redneck and murder suspect. There?s a scene where he threatens one of the psychic?s children that is absolutely rivetting. Add to the mix of misty bayou and deep Southern accents the direction of Sam Raimi and you have an entertaining and stylishly creepy whodunnit. Even though the end of the film becomes eventually predictable there are enough suspects to keep you guessing for most of the film?s duration.
Watch Films Online
Films on SBS TV
SBS Film Guide to...
Celebrate Australian filmmaking with this home-grown season. Starts May 25.
A month of movies with an edge. Saturday nights in April.