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This summer’s line-up of blockbusters has provided amazing car chases, giant dinosaurs, superheroes, and action of every variation – but some of the best thrills of the season are packed into one of the smallest movies. The Gift, the directorial debut of actor Joel Edgerton, is a fantastic thriller that will keep you guessing at every turn – and I recently had the opportunity to sit and chat about it with the filmmaker and stars Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman:
Before you ask: no, you’re not seeing things. A couple weeks ago, I was invited to go to the very same house that was featured in Joel Edgerton’s The Gift, and it was while sitting around the actual dining table featured in the movie that I had the opportunity to ask the group about the process of making the new film, and how they went about getting into their characters.
Based on an original screenplay that Edgerton wrote himself, The Gift begins following a happily married couple, Robyn (Rebecca Hall) and Simon (Jason Bateman), as they move from Chicago to Los Angeles – close to the neighborhood where Simon grew up. It’s while out shopping that they run into Gordo (Edgerton), an odd, introverted guy who claims that he grew up and went to school with Simon. This reunion starts pleasantly enough, with Gordo dropping off gifts and coming by to help Robyn around the house, but after a few strange incidents Simon decides that it’s best to cut off contact with the guy. What isn’t immediately apparent, however, is that there are dark and big secrets being kept by all of the characters, and it isn’t long before the truth starts coming out and people begin to reveal who they really are.
Without giving away answers to any of the movie’s big mysteries (of which there are many), my conversation with the three stars of The Gift focused on the ever-twisting nature of the narrative, and how they each saw their roles evolving over the course of the film and how their characters changed. Plus, you’ll learn an interesting tidbit about why Joel Edgerton both felt the desire to write the screenplay, and take the prime role of Gordo for himself.
The Gift will be arriving in theaters nationwide this weekend, and it’s most definitely worth a trip to your local cinema. Unlike most modern thrillers, it will keep you wondering what's going to happen next every step of the way - and even if you think you have it figured out, I can promise you that you do not. Do yourself a cinematic favor and check it out.