Gifted: The Movie — A Review of Sorts

photo used with permission from Fox Searchlight

I confess. I love sweet sentimental movies with happy endings. Call me crazy. Or old. But, hey. In today’s world? We all need some happy endings.

Not only that. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’m all about giftedness. I write about it. Talk about it. Think about it. Dream about it. Sing about it. (OK. I don’t sing about it.) Giftedness grabbed me when I was a young lass of 25 and didn’t let go.

Don’t ask why. I don’t know. After all, I didn’t raise a gifted child. Didn’t grow up in a gifted family. And, truth be told, I’m barely gifted myself, as far as I can tell. But, as many of you know, I started teaching gifted kids back in my young lass days. Now I’m a counselor/consultant for gifted adults slowly gaining notoriety for my oh-so-witty blog, my fresh-off-the-press book, and my capacity to nurture the intense, questioning, emotional, sensitive, perfectionistic, brilliant humans who are my clients.

But, wait. Back to the topic at hand.

The film, Gifted. It was more than sentimental. More than a happy ending. It brought up important issues that those of us in the field grapple with every day. Issues that real gifted folks face. Go, Hollywood! Some of my lovely blogging colleagues (and moms of gifted children) have written reviews that, I have to say, have more substance than what I’ve read in the mainstream media. Here are a few: Pamela, HeatherCaitlin and Jen.

The film doesn’t dive deep but it opens the door. To these questions: Can a gifted child be a “normal” kid? Might it be appropriate not to shoot for normal but, rather, for authentic? What are the best ways to balance a child’s intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical lives when the child is wired gifted? How do we help them find friends?What are the options for education? How can educators support these youngsters? What pressures to achieve do gifted children experience? When does the pressure become so great that the person considers suicide? How do we support the emotional needs of the gifted, including their intense sensitivity and empathy? What kind of support do parents need to raise these kids? What types of giftedness exist in addition to math prodigies?

And I’m just getting started. You will likely come up with even more questions. And for answers? Well, the bloggers I mention above. Me, of course. More bloggers and resources here and here. If you’re a conference goer, check this out. (I’ll be there presenting!) And you’ll want to know about a documentary in the making titled The G Word from the filmmaker Marc Smolowitz. It’s in process right now and I’m confident that it’ll be both inspirational and informative.

So, my dears, go see the film. Take your kids. (There’s just a little profanity and a little sex.)  Then talk to your kiddos, your educators, your psychotherapists, your relatives and your one-eyed-cats about what being gifted (or, as I call it, having a rainforest mind) might mean.

Go get yourself some sweet sentiment and a happy ending.


To my bloggEEs: Let us know if you see the film and what you think. And thank you, as always, for your you-ness.

Author: Paula Prober

I’m a psychotherapist and consultant in private practice based in Eugene, Oregon. I specialize in international consulting with gifted adults and parents of gifted children. I’ve been a teacher and an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon and a frequent guest presenter at Oregon State University and Pacific University. I’ve written articles on giftedness for the Eugene Register-Guard, the Psychotherapy Networker, Advanced Development Journal and online for psychotherapy dot net, Rebelle Society, Thrive, Introvert Dear, and Highly Sensitive Refuge. My first book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, is a collection of case studies of gifted clients along with many strategies and resources for gifted adults and teens. My second book, Journey Into Your Rainforest Mind: A Field Guide for Gifted Adults and Teens, Book Lovers, Overthinkers, Geeks, Sensitives, Brainiacs, Intuitives, Procrastinators, and Perfectionists is a collection of my most popular blog posts along with writing exercises for self-exploration and insight.

15 responses to “Gifted: The Movie — A Review of Sorts”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. John Barrett Avatar
    John Barrett

    Great movie to watch. I loved the chemistry between Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace. Something to watch out. The direction is great.

  2. yupsumit Avatar

    I like this post. All the movies are awesome. We have a list of 50 Best Romantic Movies


    […] source Gifted is the story of a 7-year old mathematical prodigy and her uncle, ‘Frank’ Adler. Little Mary’s custody is contested in court when her talents come to the knowledge of her formidable grandmother. Frank has to decide between a normal life and a brilliant, anti-social career for the child. […]

  4. EC Avatar

    I wrote an analysis of the film and society’s relationship to gifted people. Thought you might be interested —

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Yes! EC. This is powerful. Everyone needs to read this. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      1. Paula Prober Avatar
        Paula Prober

        Shared it on Facebook.

  5. Gifted | GiftedTexanGirl

    […] Gifted: The Movie — A Review of Sorts […]

  6. Jessie Avatar

    I just saw it last night and I agree with your review, Paula. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars. Here are some thoughts I’ll keep spoiler free:

    The one big concern I see is that the grandma is kind of a comic book villain who gifted parents might resent (perpetuating the stereotype that gifted parents push their children, rather than the children pushing the parents). And the issue of whether gifted kids can be happy with age peers, of course, doesn’t dig deep enough (though the conflicting sides are both presented, at least, if you’re paying attention).

    Despite starting this off with those complaints, though, my highly gifted shnoo and I both enjoyed the movie and would recommend it. The little girl does come across as authentically gifted, at least from what I know about gifted kids. And don’t get me started on the whole Fred thing! (We liked that the grown-up Frank was clearly gifted too and demonstrated emotional OE in how he responded to that. The filmmakers did seem to want to portray gifted people correctly and seem to have done some homework.)

    Oh, one other complaint from a DC resident: when Frank said that gifted kids shouldn’t go to separate schools or they’ll grow up to be congressmen? Nah, we should only wish more congresspeople had rainforest minds! (Of 6 rainforest minded friends I have in DC, all but one is decidedly miserable.)

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Love your points here, Jessie. The film could be a good starting point for a discussion that would provide some of the depth that’s missing. (yeah…not many gifted congressmen that I’m aware of…)

  7. My Little Poppies Avatar
    My Little Poppies

    I loved reading your thoughts, Paula!

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Thanks, Caitie.

  8. Kamala Quale Avatar
    Kamala Quale

    HI Paula,
    Sounds like you recommend this movie. Nice blog. Breakfast on Sunday?

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Yep. I recommend it. Yes to breakfast!

  9. yasmara Avatar

    Thank you for this! I have been wondering if this movie was going to treat the subject well or not.

    1. Paula Prober Avatar
      Paula Prober

      Certainly, there’s room for improvement but it’s so much better than what we typically see. Thanks for commenting, yasmara.

%d bloggers like this: