Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett) is a young widow living in Brixton, Georgia, who does psychic readings. She has a power that allows her to see things her neighbors don't see, and she talks about the things that they try to keep quiet. She eventually stirs up trouble by advising Valerie Barksdale (Hilary Swank) to leave her abusive husband, Donnie (an effectively menacing Keanu Reeves). Donnie chases after Annie and threatens her and her young sons. Then Jessica King (Katie Holmes), a sexually liberated rich girl, disappears, and Annie has visions of a gruesome murder that endanger her own life. THE GIFT is an unusual supernatural thriller. Director Sam Raimi (A SIMPLE PLAN) and DP Jamie Anderson use the huge gnarled trees and foggy swamps of Savannah to create a palpable sense of dread, and Raimi really knows how to jolt an audience. The script, by Billy Bob Thornton (SLING BLADE) and Tom Epperson, has enough twists to keep the audience guessing. Blanchett is very believable, and Giovanni Ribisi gives a heart-wrenching performance as Buddy Cole, a disturbed young man who seeks Annie's counsel. Their relationship gives the film an emotional weight that makes it more than just a good thriller.
Actor: Cate Blanchett, Katie Holmes, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Greg Kinnear, Hilary Swank, Michael Jeter, Kim Dickens, Gary Cole, Rosemary Harris
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