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Friday, August 22, 2014

Quick Review: The Giver

We interrupt #EverySimpsonsEver for a movie. Okay, I actually saw it on Wednesday, before the Simpsons marathon began, so technically I didn't interrupt it. Anyway, "The Giver" is based on a novel that was published in 1993, which means all of the "Divergent/Hunger Games" young-adult books and their film adaptations followed, but still beat this film to theaters. So much of it seems like it's been done before: futuristic society, manipulated by leaders, a young hero. But "The Giver" is still kind of worth watching.

In this future world, there is sameness. Any differences are quite minor. Everyone seems pleasant enough, but it's very muted and bland. There's no music, no bright colors, no warmth or cold thanks to climate controls. Everything is controlled by the Elders, with the chief Elder portrayed by Meryl Streep. (And far be it from me to criticize Meryl Streep, but she did seem a little out of place in a film like this.) Anyway, at age 16 all children are assigned to the jobs they will hold for the rest of their lives, and one such child, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is designated to be the Receiver of Memory, because no one in this society has any memory of the past that led to the Community's current state. Jonas receives those memories -- the wars, pain and death as well as the love and joy (not to mention snow) from the current memory holder, or Giver (Jeff Bridges). During the process of receiving memories Jonas feels that what has happened to the Community isn't right, and...well, it goes from there. By the way, Thwaites, playing a 16-year-old, is actually 25, so feel free to ogle. My grade: B-minus.

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