The Gift


What is most unsettling about writer/director/actor Joel Edgerton's nifty little picture The Gift is how cynical we must be that the appearance of an admiring, if needy, old high school classmate sends up red flags. But Edgerton's sad sack-loser Gordo is pitched perfectly and matched, note for note, by Jason Bateman's crass corporate climber Simon and his trusting wife Robyn (Rebecca Hall). A great opportunity has called Simon and Robyn from Chicago to California where the couple runs into Gordo while shopping. And old "friendship" is reignited but Simon, who has a really sensitive bullshit detector, feels something's not right about Gordo. Robyn thinks he's sweet and harmless. They're both right and wrong and therein lies the real beauty in Edgerton's story. Yes, it's genuinely creepy, has a couple of solid twists and offers homages to some classic thrillers -- including Rosemary's Baby. Recommended.

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