U.S. Release Date: 8/7/15
In The Gift, a movie that takes a bite out of the Fatal Attraction apple, the past plays Catchup – a scenario, which allows director Joel Edgerton to show what happens when a dark secret turns a seemingly idyllic present upside down and inside out.
Aside from directing the pic, Edgerton plays the story’s Gordo – a stranger who suddenly pops into the lives of happy couple Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall). Seems their picture perfect married life is going as planned. They’ve got a nice pad, they’re happy, toddler talk is in the air, and Simon is quickly jumping up the career ladder.
As the story unfolds, Gordo, an old high school acquaintance of Simon, dredges up memories of a certain dark event that unfolded more than 20 years previously. That’s when Robyn figures that she may not know her hubbie as well as she had thought.
Edgerton previously produced the Oz crime pic Animal Kingdom and wrote Felony, the cop drama in which he also starred. This time around, however, he’s in director’s chair.
“The Gift started for me with a simple premise: what would happen if a high- school bully ran into his victim fifteen or so years later? What would or could be the effects? How might the past come to bear on the present?”
The movie examines the mess that springs up when the shared pasts of two people suddenly smash together in the here and now.
“I was interested in the aftermath of that kind of hurt; is it a good or bad thing to go and rummage around in the past,” explains writer/director Joel Edgerton, “and that’s really the starting point for the story.”
Meanwhile, Bateman says realism is the name of the game when Gordo’s appearance causes Simon and Robin’s seemingly idyllic world to go sideways and south.
“You wind up questioning who is the villain and who is the victim, whether certain characters deserved what they got or not.”
“Even on the page, you’re on the edge of your seat.”
When he hammered out the script, Edgerton wanted to explore what happened to the bullies and the bullied as their lives progressed beyond the high school cafeteria and classrooms.
“I wanted to hold a mirror up through this story, about taking responsibility for our past and our actions but with a real sense of mystery and intrigue.”
Ask the gang behind the movie whether they think bygones can really be just that, and you’ll quickly discover that there is no real consensus.
“I don’t know if it’s possible,” says producer Jason Blum. “I think it’s something with which we all struggle.”
“It’s not always possible,” remarks Eduard Grau, the film’s cinematographer, “but we should try. The past affects how we live now and you can’t refuse it. It helps us to be who we are, but you can’t get stuck in it, either.”
“Forgive, but don’t forget,” Bateman opines. “I think everybody’s kind of like that, unless you’re blissfully ignorant and you have the ability to forget. It doesn’t mean you need to carry resentment, but it’s helpful to redraw boundaries and expectations with people.”
Studio / Production Companies: STX Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions’
Writer / Director: Joel Edgerton
Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman, Busy Philipps, Beau Knapp, Wendell Pierce, David Denman and Katie Aselton,
Producers: Jason Blum and Rebecca Yeldham
Executive Producers: Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Stan Lee, Brad Winderbaum and David J. Grant
Quote and Info Source: Press Notes
Image Info: Photo Credit: Matt Kennedy – ALL PHOTOS © 2015 STX Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This ENTAction Special Feature Was Posted on: 8/5/15