BillyBobapalooza

Billy Bob's Filmography

THE GIFT (2001)

Distributor
Paramount Pictures

Director
Sam Raimi

Writer
Billy Bob Thornton

Character
None, but he's there in spirit.

Movie Quote
ANNIE: You've had enough icing to put you in a coma.  

Plot
Annie Wilson, a widowed mother of three young boys, lives in a small Georgia town and makes ends meet by offering psychic card readings to the locals.  When the local bad girl Jessica King (Katie Holmes) disappears, Annie is plagued by an increasingly disturbing series of dreams about the young woman's fate.  Suspects include battered wife Valerie Barksdale (Hilary Swank), Valerie's violent husband Donnie (a scary-good Keanu Reeves), and an emotionally unbalanced mechanic named Buddy Cole (Giovanni Ribisi).  Donnie threatens to kill Annie, who finds solace in a blossoming romance with the local school principal (played by Greg Kinnear).

What Billy Bob Gets To Do
Annie is based on Billy Bob's mother, the lovely and famously psychic Virginia Thornton Faulkner, who uses the same Zener ESP cards Annie uses in the film for her readings.  Like Annie, she was a widow who raised three young boys, using her special perception to bring in extra money.  This script must have made a nifty Mother's Day present.

Backstory
Billy Bob has some interesting tales about his mother's abilities.  One of the more memorable ones involved his early struggles as an actor.  Virginia predicted that he would be successful as an actor, noting that he would star with Burt Reynolds.  Sure enough, Billy Bob's first serious break came when Harry Thomason cast him as a floral delivery man who misdelivers a bouquet to Burt Reynold's character on the show EVENING SHADE.  Billy Bob would star again as Reynold's cousin on the same show, then wound up in the regular cast of Thomason's sitcom HEARTS AFIRE. 

The IMDb points out that Annie's car, the yellow-beige 1973 Oldsmobile Delta Royale, nicknamed "The Classic" by Sam Raimi's fans, is a recurring player in Raimi's films, including A SIMPLE PLAN.

Awards (for Billy Bob Thornton)
Saturn Award (Best Writing, with Tom Epperson) - 2001 - Nomination

Awards (for THE GIFT)
Saturn Award (Best Horror Film) - 2001 - Nomination
Saturn Award (Best Actress, Cate Blanchett) - 2001 - Nomination
Saturn Award (Best Supporting Actor, Giovanni Ribisi) - 2001 - Nomination
Saturn Award (Best Supporting Actress, Hillary Swank) - 2001 - Nomination
Independent Spirit Award (Best Supporting Actor, Giovanni Ribisi) - 2001 - Nomination
World Stunt Award (Taurus Award, Best Fire Work, Eric Cord) - 2001 - Nomination

Relevant Links
IMDb Link
Official Site
Hollywood.com interview with Cate Blanchett
Rotten Tomatoes reviews
TV Guide review
Photo gallery from the film
Joe Blo review
Science Fiction Weekly interview with Sam Raimi, Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves
Cincinnati Post interview with Cate Blanchett, includes spooky story!
MovieWeb review
IndieWire interview with Sam Raimi
Photos of The Classic in action!
Test your psychic abilities with Zener Cards here

Related Merchandise
Of course, you can acquire the song soundtrack (heavy on fine country western talent) and the original score by Christopher Young (that's two separate CDs). 


BBT On DVD
The Paramount DVD of THE GIFT includes cast and crew interviews as well as the music video Furnace Room Lullaby by Neko Case and Her Boyfriends.  The film is also available on VHS.  Makes a great gift!

Photo credit:  © 2001 Paramount Home Video

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© 2004 by . . . Like the Wind Productions/Lonesome Rogues Design. This page is intended for entertainment and reference purposes only and is not intended to make a profit.  Film commentary reflects the opinions of the webmasters Amélie and Sage and not the opinions of Billy Bob Thornton or his representatives.