MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Directed by Joel Edgerton. Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall
Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall) have just moved to Los Angeles from Chicago. Simon is a successful executive on the fast track with a computer security company and Robyn is an interior designer doing much of her work from home. Making the transition to a new home is always a challenge, but the state of their marriage (which includes their unsuccessful attempts to have a child) brings added pressure. Simon’s brash outgoingness and Robyn’s quiet reserve coexist in a somewhat precarious (but still loving) place.
Enter Gordo (Joel Edgerton), a stranger who approaches them while they are out shopping. Gordo claims to have been in high school with Simon, and Simon acts as if he knows Gordo as well. After Gordo leaves, Simon tells Robyn that he has no recollection of this person at all.
The next day there is a bottle of wine left on their doorstep, followed by other gifts, as well as unannounced visits by Gordo to Robyn during the day, while Simon is away at work. Simon is obviously upset at this intruder into their lives, but Robyn is intrigued and begins to seek out more information about Simon’s past.
The Gift is a terrific little suspense film about the secrets from the past that couples choose to keep from one another, and the painful incidents from our youth that haunt our lives and keep us shackled to the hurts that we carry alongside of us most of our days.
The Christian faith is all about redemption and new beginnings. The Gift is a story about what happens when people go through the motions of happiness and success without dealing with the sin that waits at the door. Joel Edgerton, who plays Gordo, also wrote and directed this film and it is an impressive accomplishment. Every actor does fine work and Bateman, Hall and Edgerton lead us through a film with many surprising turns and unanswered questions.
This film is very entertaining, but it left me thinking about marriage, success, and the deceptions that are a part of everyday life. This is why we need the love of God in our lives. There is much to atone for and, left untreated, much that will bring us down to the depths of despair. The truth of our lives will always come out, eventually. Thanks be to God for real forgiveness and new beginnings.
Three halos: An effective thriller that also works as a morality play.
Two pitchforks: Pervasive swearing; some crude sex talk and sexual themes; deception and deceit.
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Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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