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    indigo Offline OP
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    If you have seen the movie "gifted" and want to discuss specific scenes, this discussion thread is for you! Great suggestion, LAF. smile

    If you have NOT seen the movie, rather than reading this thread, you might want to watch the trailer in the discussion thread here: Movie Trailer - "gifted - coming in Spring 2017.

    Is everyone familiar with the spoiler function located in the tool bar just above the editing window on these discussion forums?
    You can use this function if you want to provide a spoiler alert within your post to help keep other members from accidentally reading something. Select your text and click the button having an "S" with a diagonal slash through it.

    It will look like this in your edit window:
    [ s p o i l e r ] t e x t [ / s p o i l e r ] (note: one extra space added between each character in this sample)

    It will look like this in your post:
    Was Evelyn trying to live vicariously through Diane? ... And through Mary?

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    LAF Offline
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    So indigo, what did you think? By the way, I'm not going to include the spoiler code in this post as you already wrote spoilers in the subject line but if you think I should let me know and I will revise this post.

    Anyway I had some interesting discussions with my kids about it... I found it interesting that they included a scene where she felt that her classmate's diorama was better than hers (so not gifted at everything) and her reaction was pretty right on (overreaction?) when it came to fairness.

    I also liked that they included that neither the uncle or the grandmother had the right idea in how to educate Mary (they were both too far to one side or the other), but in the end the compromise looked promising as being a pretty good solution- even if it was a simplified one.

    I also explained to my kids that even though Mary was obviously profoundly gifted in math, someone still taught her strategies in math (and she read books on math) so she didn't learn advanced math in a vacuum. But she was obviously interested in math, and her mother as well as her grandmother was too so genetics played a role.

    What did you think? I was actually a bit worried that it would be too cliche and give my kids the wrong message, but I think it actually did a good job at the story it was trying to tell. Mary was still very much a kid. A gifted kid who really really liked advanced math but also needed to have friendships with kids her own age. And ironically, I've found a ton of gifted kids in the boy and girl scouts. Where I live it is almost like a magnet for them.. wink

    Last edited by LAF; 04/24/17 08:46 PM.
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    indigo Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by chay
    I read the blurb on common sense media which puts it as 12+ and I'm still not sure. I'm not super concerned from their description but my youngest is 8.5 so maybe I should be?? I'll probably try to see it on my own first.
    Parents know their own kids best, and parental preview of movies and reading material is always a good idea. That said, the common sense media summary was accurate; Those subjects were touched upon and not belabored... however some audience members may hone in on them.

    See spoiler 5 in the next post below.

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    indigo Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by LAF
    I'm not going to include the spoiler code in this post as you already wrote spoilers in the subject line but if you think I should let me know and I will revise this post.
    I'd say masking our posts with spoiler alerts is really not necessary, but I thought I'd mention it because it is sort of fun and different. smile

    Originally Posted by LAF
    I had some interesting discussions with my kids about it...
    That is the true beauty of this movie, IMO... the many jumping off points for conversations on topics which may usually be considered "things we do not talk about".

    Originally Posted by LAF
    interesting that they included a scene where she felt that her classmate's diorama was better than hers (so not gifted at everything)
    spoiler 1:
    I embraced that moment: after her perfunctory apology, when she asked if she could now say something she really wanted to say... !

    Originally Posted by LAF
    her reaction was pretty right on (overreaction?) when it came to fairness
    Yes! That gifted sense of justice. spoiler 2:
    I appreciated the movie's depiction of adult conversation on this... the dilemma of the clash between the "violation of rules" and the "I'm so proud of her".

    A common trait in gifted children, often listed amongst identifying characteristics, which is alternately described as "advanced moral reasoning", "well developed sense of justice", "moral sensitivity", "advanced ability to think about such abstract ideas as justice and fairness", "empathy", "compassion". Links to lists of gifted characteristics include several articles on the Davidson Database here and here, SENG (Silverman), SENG (Lovecky).


    Originally Posted by LAF
    I also liked that they included that neither the uncle or the grandmother had the right idea in how to educate Mary (they were both too far to one side or the other), but in the end the compromise looked promising as being a pretty good solution- even if it was a simplified one.
    spoiler 3:
    The second, re-neogiated compromise, right?! Out of foster care and back with the uncle... taking college-level math...

    At the end of the movie, I thought... this could easily have sequels... as no doubt Mary's education plan would need to be re-worked for the next year... and possibly each year thereafter. There was also great potential for growth among several of the characters (most notably Evelyn).

    Originally Posted by LAF
    even though Mary was obviously profoundly gifted in math, someone still taught her strategies in math (and she read books on math) so she didn't learn advanced math in a vacuum... genetics played a role.
    Ah, yes... nature and nurture... giftedness and opportunity. spoiler 4:
    We noted that the "genetics" also had a component of several generations knowing what resources would be recommended for nurturing Mary's interest and talent in math. For families without this lineage of giftedness in the same domain, I believe Davidson does a good job of trying to help inform parents of "what's out there"... however that will never be as instantaneous as having family members who already know "what comes next" and are therefore providing what some may call an enriched environment, in which the child may practically learn by osmosis due to the variety of resources available in the home.

    This is major.

    I believe this also played heavily into the scene in which the public school principal announced that they cannot educate Mary, but the local gifted school (Oakes Academy?) will provide a full scholarship. IRL, there are not many schools for the gifted, and few students receive a full scholarship. No doubt the offer of a scholarship to Mary was due, in large part, to the child's mathematical gift having already been nurtured to college level at age 7.

    BTW, Evelyn mentioned an out-of-print book, "Transitions in Advanced Algebra". Does anyone know if this is a real book? A web search does not return this exact title in the results list.

    Originally Posted by LAF
    What did you think? I was actually a bit worried that it would be too cliche and give my kids the wrong message, but I think it actually did a good job at the story it was trying to tell. Mary was still very much a kid. A gifted kid who really really liked advanced math but also needed to have friendships with kids her own age.
    So many thoughts here. spoiler 5:
    I think it was good that the movie mentioned Diane's social awkwardness... and suicide. Just like every other kid, gifted kids need both appropriate challenge and academic/intellectual peers... its just that their "appropriate challenge and academic/intellectual peers" are not typical.

    Diane unfortunately had a weak support system... consisting largely of Evelyn who seemed focused entirely on pushing Diane to eminence*, and seemed to care little to nurture Diane's other interests or potential relationships.

    BTW, Evelyn seemed to display a good amount of relationship awkwardness herself!!!

    It was also very telling that Mary said her best friends were her cat Fred and her landlady/neighbor Roberta. It was unclear whether the lack of close same-age-friends was due to having few kids in her neighborhood, being new to school, or lack of deeper common interests and conversational topics with other kids. Regardless, I thought it was good to point out that gifted kids may have friendships with adults.

    *eminence... and defining giftedness in terms of achievement:
    Originally Posted by sagepub 2011
    ...eminence ought to be the chief goal of gifted education. (Couldn't you picture Evelyn saying this? This sentence seems to embody her view.)
    ...
    To frame our discussion, we propose a definition of giftedness that we intend to be comprehensive. Giftedness is the manifestation of performance that is clearly at the upper end of the distribution in a talent domain even relative to other high-functioning individuals in that domain. Further, giftedness can be viewed as developmental in that in the beginning stages, potential is the key variable; in later stages, achievement is the measure of giftedness; and in fully developed talents, eminence is the basis on which this label is granted.
    Equating giftedness with eminence may conflate giftedness with opportunity.

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    Thanks, I realize it is impossible for strangers to make accurate assessments but the no belaboring comment is a big help.

    My kids have belabored big issues since they could talk so it is often hard to know how to take warnings about "heavy themes" and "serious issues". Sometimes it is things they've already obsessed about it many times over the years, at other times they focus on things that other kids their age wouldn't bother paying attention to so it can cut both ways. Watching Hidden Figures a couple months ago produced days of child initiated discussions about civil and women's rights. I'm guessing many grade 3's wouldn't have sat through it in total awe, never mind wanting to discuss the issues in depth.

    Last edited by chay; 04/25/17 06:37 AM.
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    indigo Offline OP
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    LAF, did you like the scene with the walk at sunset...
    ...backdrop for the conversation in which Mary asked Frank lots of deep questions, extensional questions, faith questions... ? I thought this depicted the curiosity of the young gifted mind very well. smile

    The movie was filled easy-going conversations, even banter between Frank and Mary, with Mary constantly questioning, negotiating, observing, and remarking on topics which may not catch the attention of most kids.

    Thinking of debate (smooth segue here, LOL, not)...

    I did not much care for Evelyn's attorney, although on the positive side I will say his voice and cadence remind me a bit Dr. James Webb (founder of SENG, founder/President of Great Potential Press.)

    I really liked Frank's attorney... until he thought the compromise was the best that could be done under the circumstances. We know how that worked out.... it didn't... all I can say is good thing Evelyn was allergic to cats... this is how she was found out...

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    LAF Offline
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    I loved that scene. I also liked how they revealed that he had been a professor of philosophy- somehow I can see a professor of philosophy dropping out and living the way he did to raise Mary.

    I also liked a scene where Evelyn and Frank are talking and they have a similarity of banter/humor that made me think that she is where Frank got his sarcastic sense of humor. I think one scene also explains Evelyn's relentless drive to make her daughter into what she felt she should have been (Mary said to her, after you got married, no more math?) so that's why Evelyn drove off the boyfriend and tried to keep her "focused." They did a really good job with their character development.

    The first compromise with the foster family made NO sense to me. It made more sense that Mary would stay with Frank with support and visitation from Evelyn and maybe they would put her into the gifted school. So I don't understand how either of them would have agreed to take Mary away from Frank and put her with strangers. The cat ending up where it did was ridiculous...BUT I loved that when he left he didn't just take Fred he took all three cats...


    Last edited by LAF; 04/25/17 02:39 PM.
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    indigo Offline OP
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    Two more scenes keep returning to mind:

    1. Possibly every parent of a gifted child has felt this way...
    Frank said something like, "Can't I have some semblance of a normal life?" or "Can't I ever have some time to myself?"

    Of course, it broke the kiddo's heart... and they talked about it later in a very healthy way.

    That said, I really understood Frank's desire to have a bit of a break now and then.
    2. Possibly every parent of a gifted child has felt this way, too...
    Because this scene appeared as a clip in the trailer, I won't place my recap of it inside a spoiler alert:
    Frank was asked what his greatest fear was. He said, "That I ruin Mary's life."
    That sentiment seems to be echoed in many forum discussion threads about advocacy, acceleration, etc...

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    LAF Offline
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    I know when he said that was his biggest fear I remember thinking.. yep. smile

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    LAF Offline
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    Indigo, regarding the book "Transitions in Advanced Algebra" the production company may have created a name for the book (especially if they were possibly going to show it on screen) that doesn't exist so they would not have to obtain permission from a publisher. Many films do this so that they do not have legal issues if they are not able to receive permission (copyrights for films are usually licensed for perpetuity within the film- this goes for music especially).

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