THE GIFT – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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Oh, but The Gift is an infuriating movie on so many levels. It can’t decide if it wants to be serious drama or a salacious thriller, and so it’s nowhere near enough of either, and each aspect seems to be laughing at the other. It touches on sensitive, tangled emotional matters that could easily be the basis for either sort of movie — how the effects of bullying in childhood linger into adulthood; how stress and grief can render us unable to function in daily life; how even the most intimate of relationships can be tinged by a lack of trust; and more — but it fumbles all of them so badly that it contradicts itself constantly, as if it doesn’t really understand the pain it is attempting to appropriate. Read more>>

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).