LIMA — The reviews are in.
“Gifted,” a new movie written by Lima native Tom Flynn, was a hit among local residents who attended the film’s premiere screening Thursday at Regal Cinemas.
“I thought it was a phenomenal movie,” said Lima resident Jaclyn Jarvis, who attended the screening with her sister, Jillian Jarvis. “I really enjoyed it.”
“Gifted” is a story about a single man raising his niece, who turns out to be a child prodigy. His plans for a normal school life for the child are foiled when the 7-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of his mother, who sees a different path in life for her granddaughter.
Flynn came up with the idea for “Gifted” during a visit with his sister, Jan Horne, of Cincinnati.
“I watched the exploits of her two girls and thought there’s the start of a movie here,” Flynn told The Lima News in a previous interview.
It is the 28th movie script he’s written. He sold 12 of them, but this was the first to actually be made into a movie.
Flynn said while reading the mostly positive reviews from professional film critics was satisfying, he really wanted to hear what “real people” had to say about his movie.
If the thoughts of a handful of moviegoers from his hometown are any indication, Flynn succeeded in connecting with the “real people” he had hoped would enjoy his screenplay.
“It was emotional, but also lighthearted,” Jillian Jarvis said. “I really liked it.”
Lima resident Tom Wiechart said he knew Flynn during his time in Lima, as his sister went to Lima Central Catholic with the future screenwriter. In addition, Flynn’s sister was in his class at LCC, Wiechart said.
Wiechart said the movie lived up to his expectations.
“I was excited to go see it, and I’m very pleased with the outcome,” he said. “It was very good.”
Wiechart, the Jarvis sisters and Lima resident Theresa Dunlap were all thoroughly impressed with the performance of young actress Mckenna Grace, who played the film’s main character, Mary Adler.
“I think she’ll probably win some kind of an award,” Dunlap said.
“I think she was a great actress, particularly in the scenes where she had to be emotional,” Jaclyn Jarvis added. “I thought she was very convincing, and I’m sure she has a long career ahead of her.”
As for the story, Jarvis said the film was an accurate portrayal of how even the best of intentions can sometimes hurt the people one is trying to help.
“I think everybody thought they had the best intentions in mind for Mary, but came from their own perspectives on what they considered best for her,” she said. “I liked how they showed the balance between what Evelyn (Adler’s grandmother, played by Lindsay Duncan) and what Frank (Adler’s uncle, played by Chris Evans) wanted for her.”
Another aspect of the movie they all agreed on was they were appreciative that a Lima native was able to write such a great film.
“I feel a sense of pride that somebody from Lima wrote this,” Jaclyn Jarvis said. “It’s a small world.”
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.