One of the best films of 2015 didn’t hit theaters during awards season but hopefully will be remembered when it comes time for year-end honors. The Gift is a riveting thriller featuring terrific performances by Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, and Joel Edgerton. Edgerton not only stars in the film but also wrote, directed, and produced the Universal Pictures release which originally opened in theaters on August 7, 2015. Although Edgerton was spread thin behind the scenes, you wouldn’t know it from the feature film.
The R-rated thriller is well paced and Edgerton has wisely snipped any potentially sluggish scenes, keeping those for the bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD. Speaking of which, The Gift Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with Ultraviolet) was released on October 27, 2015 and is well worth checking out. The extras include four deleted/extended scenes including a lengthier, more violent version of the scene that takes place in the garage between Bateman and Edgerton’s characters. There’s also a very short (about one minute long) featurette on the dark side of Jason Bateman as well as a two minute video titled “Karma for Bullies” with Edgerton explaining the focus of his film.
The best extra feature is the alternate ending with an introduction by Joel Edgerton. Definitely check this one out, even if you normally bypass all of the bonus material. The alternate ending includes footage that shows what Edgerton’s character was doing throughout the film while Bateman and Hall’s characters were the focus of scenes. For those who have the time, it’s also worth watching the film again with the feature commentary to get a better idea as to why Edgerton made some of the choices he made, including why he chose to have fish outside the house.
The Gift Plot:
Can you really go through life having never wronged anyone? Even if you are unaware of how, or when, and even who you may have wronged….chances are there is someone out there who won’t ever forget it…or you.
Simon (Bateman) and Robyn (Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going just as planned until a chance encounter with an acquaintance from Simon’s high school sends their world into a harrowing tailspin. Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Edgerton) at first, but after a seemingly coincidental series of encounters proves troubling, a horrifying secret from their past is uncovered after nearly 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to question: how well do we really know the people closest to us, and are past bygones ever really bygones?