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The Gift (Widescreen)

Cate Blanchett , Katie Holmes , Sam Raimi    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.00
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Gift Gift 3.8 out of 5 stars (123)
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Blanchett/Swank/Holmes ~ Gift

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Movie I saw in 2001 Jan. 7 2004
By Ellen
Format:VHS Tape
I happened to come upon this movie one night in the video store. I was gleefully surprised by the suspenseful plot and the genuinely good acting. The actors in it are less well known overall, but it was the best movie I saw in 2001. I recommend you pick it up at the video store too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Talented cast lift this out of mediocrity May 8 2004
Format:DVD
The Gift is destined to always be a three star out of five film, though don't let that dissuade you from watching it, because that's not to say that it's worthless. Far from it. Co-scripted by Billy Bob Thornton, The Gift relates the rather straightforward story of a woman (Cate Blanchett) haunted by her psychic visions of the murder of a young girl (Katie Holmes) from the backwater town she lives in. Red herrings abound, almost to the point of ridiculousness where you begin to suspect pretty much every character bar Blanchett's.
What lifts the movie out of its mediocrity is the fact that it's cast does so much with the slight material they've been handed. Blanchett proves that Elizabeth was no fluke, giving a typically strong performance of a woman on the edge of breakdown. Given her recent casting as lead in movies such as Charlotte Gray and Heaven, along with some high profile supporting roles in Lord of the Rings and The Talented Mr. Ripley, this is one actress who's undoubtedly going to go far. Every bit as good as Blanchett though is Giovanni Ribisi, playing a deranged man-child who forms an unwholesome attachment to Blanchett. His weepy yet electrifying performance rivets the movie in place in a much more powerful way that Keanu Reeves' bearded psycho could ever manage. Surprisingly, director Sam Raimi has also managed to garner Oscar-winner Hilary Swank who, despite turning in a solid performance, gives the impression that Boys Don't Cry might have been the best role she's ever likely to get in a while if she's taking relatively small roles in something like this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Raimi can do better. But we still love ya Sam. March 22 2004
Format:DVD
Sam Raimi takes a detour from his blood and guts horror fare (that's Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness to you Mundanes) to create this spooky picture about a woman with the, well...the gift to perform tarot readings for the local townsfolk. The movie is most specifically about the deep south and its inhabitants. This movie taught me that apparently everyone living in the south is some kind of freakish, backward, ill-educated slob. Such a sadsack cast of characters provides plenty for Kate Blanchett's character to do as a result. Mostly, she acts as a psychiatrist.
More irritating is the use of completely non-Tarot-like reading. In a movie where Kate's character is perpetually harassed for her "Satanic" rituals of Tarot-reading, it's bizarre that an actual Tarot isn't used. Instead, we get the dumbed down version: symbols that represent the four elements, a star, a square, etc. The symbols are used to good effect -- when she reads the future of a murder victim, she draws four "water" cards. But really, couldn't they have used real Tarot cards? I expect a wee bit more daring from a guy who filmed an eyeball popping into a woman's mouth.
But I digress. The two outstanding actors in this film are Keanu Reeves and Giovanni Ribisi. That's right, you saw me type that correctly -- Keanu Reeves. Keanu has a typically vapid look about him that makes him a canvas for more complex stories. I call it the Kevin Costner effect. This is why he works so well in the Matrix -- he's bland enough to allow the ridiculously complex backstory of the Matrix to swirl around him. But what's most startling is to see that vacuous stare used to startling effect in The Gift. Add a few pounds, give Keanu a shaggy beard, and his soft brown eyes become the cold glaze of a killer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic but predictable Nov. 25 2003
By Meesha
Format:DVD
This is only vaguely similar to the Sixth Sense, but it also reminded me of Blair Witch. Although it's predictable in places, it's not too predictable so you know what's going to happen before it happens, but certain scenes you can.
I was quite shocked when I discovered Billy Bob Thornton wrote this, and that Sam Raimi directed it. Billy Bob always comes across as weird to me - he looks so rough most of the time, but then you see him in films, he's totally unrecognisable, and doesn't look like the same person. Sam Raimi is a whole other kettle of fish. He previously directed The Evil Dead movies, the second one, which I managed to fall asleep during!
All the characters played their parts well in this. Especially Katie Holmes and Keanu Reeves. Both of them play different characters to what they would normally play in films. Katie is always known as sweet and virginal Joey in Dawson's Creek, but totally shows the viewers she can act and can do different characters. As a big fan of Keanu, I can't say I've seen him play a bad BAD guy, not to this extent anyway. His character is a wife beater, who does get accused of killing Katie's character. He could have been slagged rotten in the press and by critics for playing this kind of character, but he manages to pull it off, and succeeds. You believe in his character, and totally forget this is the guy from Speed, and the dork from Bill & Ted. His hair is grown out, he's got an albeit patchy beard, and dare I say it, he's looking chubby! (But not as bad as Chain Reaction!) Keanu got praise when this film was released, and he could have been stereotyped after Speed (and probably now after the Matrix), but has pulled off a number of different roles.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars the gift
Cate Blanchett does a fabulous job in this movie, it's all chilling and keeps you on your toes, the music helps with that too. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maisie Katt
4.0 out of 5 stars Supsenseful Character-Driven Thriller!
Annabelle 'Annie' Wilson (Cate Blanchett) is struggling to make ends meet and to make a life for herself and her two sons after her husband died suddenly. Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Silmarwen
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Premise, but......
Well, worth seeing, about a psychic in the south (Cate Blanchett) enlisted to help find a missing girl (Katie Holmes. Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by Danielle
4.0 out of 5 stars More of a review on Keanu Reeves's part
The plot of this movie could've been a bit better (it was rather predictable and, to me, slow at points) but I found the cast very good. I found all the characters believable. Read more
Published on April 25 2004 by Minya
5.0 out of 5 stars BLANCHETT'S GIFT
Cate Blanchett is brilliant in the leading role of Annie Wilson in this wonderful movie. Blanchett is approaching Streep-status in her ability to completely embrace her role and... Read more
Published on March 4 2004 by Michael Butts
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for the movie, 1 extra star for Katie
The movie is so full of great stars - Cate, Keanu, Hilary, Katie.... Cate is as usual a very fine performer. But I don't think Keanu is believable as the bad husband. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by T. W. M. Philip
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Mystery Thriller
In this suspenseful story set in a small southern town, a widowed mother of 2 played by Cate Blanchett gets caught in the midst of a murder mystery, which unfolds with the guidance... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by Jed Shlackman
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film ruined by trite, predictable ending.
This could have been, should have been, a terrific thriller. The acting by all is definitely first rate, the direction tight, the setting perfect and creepy. Read more
Published on Dec 6 2003 by Rosie Cotton
3.0 out of 5 stars Blanchett is great, Ribisi is awesome and Reeves is evil
this one is about Blanchett and shes the towns local psychic with her tera cards and stuff. Hilary Swank visits her about her abusive husband played with pure evilness by Keanu... Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2003 by Michael Bolts
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