Frank took in baby Mary when his sister, a math genius, committed suicide. He vowed that he would give Mary a ‘normal’ life, away from all the pressures that a child prodigy has to endure.
The film opens with Mary having to attend primary school, as Frank has exhausted any home schooling he can do. Mary, understandably, stands out as a tad more intelligent than the rest of the class.
Frank turns down a scholarship to a ‘gifted’ school for Mary, citing his promise to his sister as the reason. Somehow (and this is never explained) his mother gets wind of Mary’s talent and swoops in to try and take her away and give her the life a ‘gifted’ child should have…..in her opinion.
What Frank’s mother, Evelyn, fails to note, is that her daughter committed suicide due to the pressures put upon her by her gift and also, in my opinion, by an overbearing mother.
The film charts the battle between Frank and Evelyn over Mary and it highlights the damage that can be done by a pushy parent, who is only focused on the child’s talent and not on the child itself. This is a theme that is prevalent in society today and it can be so destructive.
There is a way to give a gifted child a ‘normal’ life as well as encouraging and developing that gift and we see this in the conclusion to the film.
The filmmakers pushed all the right buttons for me and had me rooting for Frank and hoping his way won in the end. Whether it did, you’ll have to see for yourself!