I went to a press screening of The Gift last night. I was masquerading as ‘Matthew Ford’, a co-worker of mine at timeout.com, who wasn’t able to make it. So I’m at reception at 20th Century Fox and the nice lady says, “What’s your name?”, and I reply, “Matthew Ford, thank you kind lady”, (or something like that) at which point two separate people I know but were not expecting to be present howl “Tom!” across the room, at which point I immediately go “Yes!?”, immediately triggering raised eyebrows from reception woman who now suddenly resembles Baba Yaga, Russian Hag.
The film itself was fairly average, which was a pity. It had a great cast (Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear), but a fairly run-of-the-mill plot (psychic helps in murder case and might become the next victim) which everyone at the screening figured out fairly early on. Keanu played psycho surprisingly well, but all his effort was rather undercut by his “Bill & Ted do the Deep South” accent. And there were at least a couple of moments that could have been lifted completely from What Lies Beneath. Worth a look if you need a scare but are feeling undemanding.