One of my favorite movies ever depicting the psychic arts! Sam Raimi directs, Billy Bob Thornton writes, Paramount distributes, and it’s about a psychic – a genuine psychic. What’s not to love?
“The Gift” (which premiered in U.S. limited release Christmas weekend, 2000) is set in the fictional southern town of Brixton, Georgia, where young widow Annie Wilson (Cate Blanchett), the mother of 3 young boys, is the resident “fortune-teller.” Annie becomes involved in a murder mystery as a result of her witnessing the crime with her ‘second sight.’ Other stars in the film you may recognize (oh.. maybe just a little) – Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes and Greg Kinnear.
The cast is stellar, and notice the familiar coupling once again of Katie Holmes & Greg Kinnear – “The Kennedys,” the controversial new mini-series starring Greg Kinnear as JFK, and Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy, debuts this weekend on the obscure network, ReelzChannel, after History Channel abandoned it and several others passed, as well.
Another fascinating tidbit I did not know when I first viewed “The Gift” on Netflix was that the character of “Annie” was based on Billy Bob Thornton’s mother, Virginia Thornton Faulkner. She was half-Italian, half-Choctaw Indian, and a real-life psychic who used the same Zener ESP cards Annie uses in the film for her readings. Like Annie, she was a widow who raised three young boys, embracing her special perception to bring in much-needed extra income.
This movie drew me in on many levels, as I was just hitting my stride working unsolved criminal cases, some of which were too gruesome to imagine I’d ever be entangled earlier in my psychic development years. Many of my cases were those of missing adults & children, and maybe half of those where the bodies of the deceased had already been discovered, the distraught family members or assigned law enforcement waiting on any intuitive insight I could shed on their loved ones’ untimely, unwarranted demises.
Very much love the Zener cards Cate Blanchett uses in her character’s psychic sessions during the film. They were such a vivid reminder of my own use of regular playing cards during my first years reading professionally. (My foray into the beautiful art-inspired tarot decks started much later when I required a more stimulating visual landscape with which to work.)
What do I call this intuitive ability of mine?
A gift? Perhaps.
A curse? No, not at all.
I do, however, like to refer to this “ability” as my destiny, my primary role this lifetime. Certainly never a psychic “power.” That term “power” has always annoyed me profusely when associated with what I do on a universal intuitive scale. And why is it you constantly hear those professing to be “skeptics” making wide use of this ridiculous term? It makes them appear even less educated, less enlightened (if that’s possible) in my eyes.
If you must see me as someone endowed with a superpower.. then I want a “super” title to go with that “super” persona – something catchy that will prevail throughout history like “Psychic Girl” or “The Seer” – or if I get really into my super self, “Gifted Goddess.”
Maybe I’ll just stick with “Psychic Carla Baron” for now.
(I’ve grown somewhat fond of that one.)