One of the first lines of dialogue in The Gift is spoken by a real estate broker. Showing a house to L.A. transplants (a perfectly cast Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall), the broker informs the couple it’s a “mid-century modern” home, a fact that will not be lost on fans of that particular aesthetic. The opening scenes do a fantastic job of showcasing these mid-century modern elements, from the open floor-plan, ample yet tasteful incorporation of concrete and wood, oversize windows throughout, and (my favorite) a koi pond running underneath the front walkway.
The post and beam house, a 1962 stunner designed by David G. Clark and located in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, is featured early and often in the film, and for good reason. In addition to being great eye candy for lovers of mid-century modern design, the large windows and open spaces make the protagonists feel more vulnerable, adding greatly to the overall effect of the film.
And what a film it is! Easily one of the best directorial debuts in recent memory, The Gift is a refreshing and unique take on the psychological thriller genre. First-time director Joel Edgerton (who, impressively, also wrote the screenplay and co-stars) gets a lot of things right here, most notably the darkly humorous, tongue-in-cheek script, the astute casting of Bateman (arguably against type) and Hall as the film’s leads, and, of course, the decision to use a gorgeous mid-century modern home as one of the film’s main settings.
For more pictures of the David Clark designed mid-century, modern home used in the film, click here, and check out The Gift via Netflix or Amazon.
Matt Allen is a Buyer’s Specialist at Modern Asheville Real Estate, as well as, an avid film buff and tennis and piano player. If you are a local film buff join up with Matt at the movies through his facebook group Asheville Film Snobs Anonymous. Cheers!