Synopsis: The movie tells the life story of pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson from the time he was a bullied child through his successful 1987 separation of conjoined twins.
Who’s in it? The movie stars Kimberly Elise, Gus Hoffman and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Review: My oldest daughter actually suggested “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story” after they apparently showed it at her school. At first, I was a bit reluctant because I wasn’t sure it would be something I’d enjoy. However, mostly because of her recent “Dr. Cyclops” recommendation, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. And, as it turns out, it was actually a pretty decent movie.
I still like Gooding Jr. a little better in comedies. That being said, his performance in this movie was very memorable. It was a much tougher role than I expected because he had to go through a pretty wide range of emotions and he managed to pull it off.
Another thing I liked about this movie was the attention it gave to his mother (Elise) and how she had to overcome her own personal demons (including not being able to read) while encouraging her two sons to pursue excellence. It really did manage to raise a question about where he would have ended up had she not taken the time to put her kids first.
My biggest complaint about this movie is it doesn’t spend enough time on the actual surgery. It would have been better if the film would have cut out a few of the flashbacks and dedicated that time, instead, to showing more of the preparation work, including maybe some of their failed practice runs. It didn’t do that and, as a result, the actual surgery scenes seem to be a bit rushed.
Final Opinion: As I said before, I wasn’t really sure if I would enjoy this movie. However, it turned out to be a much better film than expected and I will definitely be listening to my daughter’s recommendations in the future.
My Grade: A