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Perhaps you should look closer at that "Gift"

Updated on January 24, 2016

The Gift: Poster

Just because you're done with the past doesn't mean it's done with you
Just because you're done with the past doesn't mean it's done with you | Source


The Gift: “R“ (124 min)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman, Tim Griffin

Directed by: Joel Edgerton

It's all about the past

Someone once told us that “To change is to grow, to have changed often is to have grown much” Which of course leaves us with the question of what if you don’t change? In spite of what were told, we personally tend to think that people don’t so much change as they achieve their true potential. Perhaps that can be said about the folks in this very disturbing film. As the film opens we meet Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall) who are a married couple whose life is going just as planned. They were (apparently) doing quite well when Simon’s job causes them to relocate back into his old hometown where a chance encounter with an acquaintance from his high school, named Gordon Mosely, or simply Gordo (Tolman) sends their world into a harrowing tailspin.

Rebecca Hall

Beware an unasked for gift.
Beware an unasked for gift. | Source

The Set-up

At first Simon claims not to recognize Gordo at all, but seems to recognize him and — at the insistence of Robyn — invites him over for dinner, where Gordo’s oddness starts to come forth. This is followed by an ever more series of disturbing, uninvited encounters, and mysterious gifts that Gordo (who increasingly seems like something of an odd duck) leaves at their home. These encounters and gifts prove troubling to Simon and Robyn, and eventually, a horrifying secret from Simon’s past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn digs deeper, she learns the unsettling truth about what actually happened between Simon and Gordo back in high school. Eventually, she starts to question, not only how well do we really know the people closest to us, but how well she actually knows her husband; ultimately leading her to ask when are or even if past bygones ever really bygones.

Just before things go off the rails

Dinner with old friends
Dinner with old friends | Source

The place where things go Awry

From the film’s trailer we know that this is something of a thriller/stalker film, but we really don’t get a feel for what (if anything) is going on (or has gone on) between Simon and Gordo. Is Gordo simply fixed on Simon, or was there some incident that occurred between these two individuals that set them on their respective paths. As this excellently-crafted film unfolds and the lives of these three people begin to unravel we learn more about all involved.

The Gift, Trailer

The play out

This is so not your typical stalker film. It builds slowly and never quite reveals what is actually happening, or giving away too early who really is to blame for the actions of either Gordo or Simon, but as we travel deeper into the story there most assuredly something amiss, and frankly, the thing that is finally revealed isn’t quite what we were expecting (which, needless to say), makes the event itself as well as the film so much better for it. On some level, what makes this film work so well is Bateman’s fluid ability to slip back and forth between dramas like this; The Kingdom, and Disconnect, romantic films, like This is where I leave you, and straight-up comedy like Bad Words, Identity Crises, and Horrible Bosses. He is such a consummate actor that pretty much any film that he is in proves to be well worth watching.


You don't think I'm crazy...Do you?
You don't think I'm crazy...Do you? | Source

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Jason Bateman
Jason Bateman | Source

More about Bateman

More than just an actor, Bateman also has eight Producer credits, (including Bad Words and Identity Thief), nine Director credits (including Bad Words and Arrested Development), and even a pair of Soundtrack credits (Juno, and Arrested Development).


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