The Gift is one of those Stir of
Echoes, solve the crime through psychic powers,
Blanchett plays some kind of a white trash,
welfare-collectin' bayou mama who supports
herself by readin' Tarot Cards, droppin' her
g's, and workin' her own at-home version of a
psychic hotline. She's currently moseyin' around
with a passel of guilt because she had a psychic
vision of her husband dyin', but couldn't
convince him to do something about it. Wait a
minute. If she saw a vision of her husband's
death and he didn't die, then she's not really a
psychic, is she? So what the hell can she do
about it? A lot of us have daydreams, but it's
only when they come true that you qualify for
Anyway, it happens that them
thar' po-lice were stumped on a case, and Dionne
Warwick's line was busy, so they asked Cate to
help out. Wellsir, ol' Katie Holmes is missin'
or dead or somethin' and this is a small
Southern Movie town, so every single person in
town is both capable of murder and well armed.
Not to mention psychotic and seriously inbred.
the wife-beatin' violent psycho (Keanu Reeves.
Whoa!), or the papa-hatin' violent psycho
(Giovanni Ribisi, no surprise there), the DA who
was havin' an affair with the victim, the
jealous wife of one of the psychos, or one of
the other slow-talkin' third-grade-educated
people in the town, all of whom seem like the
type to enjoy carnal relationships with barnyard
animals and the recently deceased?
Hard to say.
problem is that Cate doesn't see full answers in
her psychic visions, just snippets of things
which may be in the past, present, or future,
like the guy in The Dead Zone. So she gives them
generic answers like "I see a pick-up truck,
some guys fishin' for catfish, some Bar-B-Q, and
some longneck beers", which pretty much means
that it could be anybody over the age of five in
a small Southern town. Then she sends them
off to dredge the pond.
a small southern town, dredging the pond is
always a good bet. Here in Texas, when our ponds
start to go short on bass and dead bodies, we
re-stock 'em artificially.
kind of psychic reading, I can do. Come and tell
me there's a murdered hockey player and I say "I
hear 'Oh, Canada', I see some ice, some
Molson's, a Zamboni, and some guys with bad
teeth", and send the sheriff off to check out
the leads and dredge the rink.
they arrest one of the psychos based on her
vision, but then she keeps havin' those movie
montage visions with repeatin' phrases, like the
psycho's wife sayin' "the ol' slut deserved to
die, just a-fuckin' mah man", and every other
person in the plot sayin' somethin' 'bout how
they wanted to see ol' Katie dead.
only one guy in town didn't want her dead.
Needless to say, he's the one that killed her.
know why the film didn't do better at the box
office. It isn't a great film, but it is
directed well, acted well by marketable names,
and features one actress with great talent (Cate
Blanchett), and another actress with two great
talents. (The first shot of Katie's
redoubtable hooters comes 00:01:06 into the film
- before the credits! Now that's entertainment.
Not to mention the director's accurate
assessment of a valuable asset.)