The Gift (2000)

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Cate Blanchett as: Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Selected Cast: Hilary Swank, Giovanni Ribisi, Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes & Greg Kinnear
Written by: Billy Bob Thornton & Tom Epperson
Release Year: 2000
Genre: Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
MPAA Rating: R

When Jessica King goes missing, all eyes turn to Annabelle Wilson. Not as a murder suspect, but as a clairvoyant. Many of the towns folk go to Annabelle for help, and Jessica’s fiancée, Wayne Collins, turns to Annabelle for possible guidance. Annabelle feels that she can’t help, but this doesn’t stop her from constantly getting visions of Jessica’s fate.

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Quotes from Cate Blanchett

When asked ‘The ‘tree rape’ scene in The Evil Dead upset you, didn’t it?’
“Yeah. When I worked with Sam Raimi on The Gift, I said, ‘What was with the tree raping the girl?’ And he said, ‘Did it?'” [Laughs]

Quotes from Others

• • Sam Raimi
“It didn’t change that much. It was about an $8 million movie. It ended up being a $9 million movie. And originally, no one was cast… But Cate Blanchett became interested, and that was the one condition I had in making the film, that she do this part. And she did it. And then, what happened was, a lot of great actors really admire Cate… During every audition that that we would have, newcomer or old pro, they’d refer to Cate Blanchett as the next Meryl Streep. The actors believe that she’s outrageously good. So what happened was, all of these fine talents that might not normally work for scale, or work for such a small picture, or not both at least… they were drawn because of the quality of the screenplay and the fact that Cate Blanchett was starring.

Keanu Reeves, on why he accepted to be part of the film
“Because of Cate Blanchett.”

Rosemary Harris, how she got the part in Spider-Man
“I have Cate Blanchett to thank. She wanted me to be in her movie, The Gift. I was doing Waiting in the Wings on Broadway in 1999, and only had Mondays free, so I flew down to Savannah, did the film, and came back that same night. The director was Sam Raimi, and when he signed on for Spider-Man, he offered me the part.

Quotes from her Character

• Ben: “I want icing, Momma.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “You’ve had icing enough to put you in a coma.”

• Valerie Barksdale: “He got worse. I went to the store yesterday, because we was out of some things. And he got home from work early before I could get back. He was waiting with a razor strap. My legs were all cut up and I got welts the size of footballs on my back and my legs…”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I feel guilty you paying me money to tell you to get away from him. You got to get help. Legal help.”
Valerie Barksdale: “You don’t know Donnie Barksdale, Annie. He’ll kill me if I leave him. He’ll find me. He said he would.”

• Wayne Collins: “Well, Mrs. Wilson, I don’t pretend to be a psychologist… but err… it’s obvious to me that your boy’s got a lot of anger in him.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Well, umm… It’s about this time last year his daddy passed away. He’s still real messed up over it.”

• Jessica: “You’re not that Wilson that’s a fortune teller, are you?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I don’t call myself that.”
Jessica: “I’d love for you to read my fortune.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I’m pretty booked up.”
Jessica: “Do you think we’ll leave happily ever after? What’s the matter? You see something bad?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Of course not. I’m sure you’ll be real happy together.”

• Buddy: “You have to tell me, and you have to tell me now.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I’ll tell you, hun.”
Buddy: “If I look into a blue diamond, and I think a negative thought, am I gonna die?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “No, you’re not gonna die. You’re not gonna die, Buddy.”

• Valerie Barksdale: “I really need to talk to you. Maybe you can read for me under a bridge or something.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Well, alright, I’ll read for you, but you gotta start listening to me though.”
Valerie Barksdale: “I can’t leave him. Don’t you understand?”

• Wayne Collins: “Did you know something was gonna happen to your husband?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “In an ESP kind of way?”
Wayne Collins: “Well, I don’t know if…”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “You don’t believe in it?”
Wayne Collins: “I don’t know. I guess I just don’t believe there are any great mysteries in life. I kind of figure what you see is what you get.”

• Miller Wilson: Momma, what does fuck mean?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “It’s a bad word for something nice.”
Miller Wilson: But what does it mean?”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Buddy, you gotta find out, hun, why you hate him so much.”
Buddy: “My daddy’s a good man. I don’t hate my dad. He was good to Mom and me. Yeah, every kid needs a hit with a belt, sometime… I mean…”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Buddy, you got to try to get past this wall that you’re talking about. Hun, you need to talk about your daddy.”
Buddy: “Why don’t you tell me why I hate him. You’re the good damn psychic! Huh? You’re the good damn psychic!”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Ben, get your hand out of there. Oh, that’s for the cake tonight, honey! What am I gonna ice the cake with?”
Ben: “I like icing, Momma. I like it.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I can see that, pumpkin.”

• Wayne Collins: “Is there anything you can tell us?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I can read for you. But that’s about all I can do.”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “My granny told me that I… I had a gift. That it runs in my family. And, she told me that I shouldn’t be afraid of it. I should just always use my instinct and I’d… I’d be alright.”
David: “So you’re swearing before this court that you didn’t get your information about this tragedy from any other means than your special ability? Your “gift”?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Yes, Sir. I’m swearing that. Yes.”

• Valerie Barksdale: “Can you see what I’m thinking? Can you see that in the cards?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “What do you mean?”
Valerie Barksdale: “Well… I’ve been thinking some real bad, bad thoughts. Un-christian thoughts.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Like what?”
Valerie Barksdale: “Like… I’m glad that girl’s dead. Jessica. She was messing around with my husband and she deserved what she got.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “No one deserves that.”
Valerie Barksdale: “Like I said, I know it’s un-Christian. What? What, are you seeing something bad?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I don’t know. It’s unclear.”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Wayne, I don’t think this is a good idea.”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I got a warning today. I think somebody’s gonna try and kill me.”
David: “So what do you want me to do?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “I want you to reopen the case and find out who really did it.”
David: “There’s a saying about letting sleeping dogs lie. You think you’re in danger now? Look at it logically. The real danger begins if this case gets reopened and someone starts worrying that you’re gonna have another one of your damn dreams.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “All I know is the wrong man’s in jail. I don’t care how awful he is. And I helped put him there. I can’t live with something like that. So you find a way to reopen this case, Sir. Or I will.”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Oh, thank you for the peaches.”
Tommy Lee Ballard: “Yes, ma’am.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “So how you been?”
Tommy Lee Ballard: “Oh, pretty good, I reckon.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “You had a health problem since I saw you last?”
Tommy Lee Ballard: “Ma’am?”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “Have you been sick.”
Tommy Lee Ballard: “Back’s been hurting a little.”
Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “No, no, it’s not your back. You been bleeding somewhere?”

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson: “What I’m seeing is a brick rail fence and a pond. I can smell flowers.”

Trivia & Facts

• Filmed in USA (view all.)

• 8 nominations (view all.)

• Cate starred in the movie Heaven (2002) with Giovanni Ribisi as well.

• Billy Bob Thornton wrote the script for this film and he starred in the movies Bandits (2001) and Pushing Tin (1999) with Cate as well.

• To prepare for her role in this film, Cate visited five fortune tellers in one week. One of them told her she needed a bodyguard.

• The cards Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson uses to perform her “readings” are actually Zener Cards, which are used to perform ESP tests. The cards are not known for their fortune-telling abilities.

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson’s car is “The Classic” – the Delta 88 Oldsmobile that appears in every Evil Dead movie and nearly every other Sam Raimi movie.

• Based on Billy Bob Thornton’s own mother’s psychic abilities.

• After Sam Raimi was hired as the director of Spider-Man (2002), the schedule for post production of this film conflicted with his prospective work on the other movie. In the end the two studios agreed to give Raimi more time to complete post production on this film so he could work on both films simultaneously.

• Cate and Hilary Swank were the 2004 Oscar winners for Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively.

• Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson is bleeding on the dock from her head, and in a close up the blood runs down her cheek into the corner of her mouth. In the shots following, however, all the traces of blood disappear from her cheek and mouth, and move to the side of her face.

• At the end, Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson is holding a cloth over her eyebrow and she is bleeding. When she comes back to see her children, her eyebrow is perfectly fine, she is not even wearing a bandage.

• When Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson is talking to the prosecutor about re-opening the case, a crew member’s reflection can be seen in the window.

• When Annabelle ‘Annie’ Wilson gives a reading for Valerie Barksdale her watch is on the table as usual. But as she collects the cards, her watch is on her wrist.