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The Giver is a 2014 American social science fiction film directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes and Cameron Monaghan.[3] The film is based on the 1993 novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.

The Giver premiered on August 11, 2014 and was released theatrically in the United States on August 15, 2014 and grossed $67 million on a $25 million budget. It received a People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite Dramatic Movie.

Plot[edit]

Following a calamity, referred to as The Ruin, society is reorganized into a series of communities, and all memories of the past are held by one person, the Receiver of Memory. Since the Receiver of Memory is the only individual in the community with the memories from earlier times, he must advise the Chief Elder and the other Elders on the decisions for the community. The Receiver of Memory and his assistant are also the only ones endowed with color vision (color blindness being a side effect of the daily, emotion-numbing drug injections imposed on everybody else).

Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is a 16-year-old boy who, like everyone else, is anxious about the career that he will be assigned. His best friends are Asher (Cameron Monaghan) and Fiona (Odeya Rush).

On the day of graduation, everyone is assigned a career. Jonas is briefly skipped. He is not assigned a career until later, when he is told that he will become the next Receiver of Memory and will progressively receive memories from the past receiver, the Giver (Jeff Bridges). Upon assuming his role, Jonas learns of the past of the Giver and his child, Rosemary (Taylor Swift), who had preceded Jonas as Receiver of Memory. She was so distraught from the memories that she committed suicide, which the Community calls "release". Its nature is regarded as mysterious, but the audience learns that it is death by lethal injection. Jonas begins to teach his findings to Fiona and decides to share the idea of emotions. Fiona, who is unable to comprehend the idea of emotion, is unsure how she feels. Jonas then tells her to stop taking the injection and the next day, he kisses her, an antiquated action that is unknown to the community and Jonas gained through memory.

Jonas also shares his memories with the baby, Gabriel, who was brought home by his father, to their house. He develops a close relationship with him after discovering that he shares the same mark on his wrist Jonas does, the mark of a potential Receiver of Memory. Jonas decides that everyone should have the memories of the past and eventually, the Giver and Jonas decide that the only way to help the community is to go past the border of what they call "Elsewhere" and beyond the community. That would release the memories back into the community. Jonas sneaks out at curfew and decides to get Gabe at the Nurturing Center, who is to be "released" for his general weakness. Asher, his other longtime friend beside Fiona, tries to stop him before he leaves the neighborhood, but Jonas quickly punches him. Asher lies on the ground, stunned, and Jonas rides his bike to the Nurturing Center. He tells Fiona of his plan and wants to take her with him, but she refuses and instead helps him retrieve Gabe. Before he leaves, she kisses him then aids in his escape.

Meanwhile, Jonas' mother (Katie Holmes) and Asher go to the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) to tell them Jonas is missing. Guards are sent to contain Jonas, who they say has become "dangerous," but Jonas gets one of their motorcycles and drives off the cliff near the Giver's dwelling into Elsewhere. Asher is assigned by the Chief Elder to use a drone to find Jonas and "lose" (kill) him, but when he finds Jonas stumbling through the desert, he instead captures Jonas with the drone. After Jonas implores Asher to think that if he ever cared for Jonas and would let him go, Asher sets him free by dropping him into a river. Jonas stumbles onto Elsewhere, and Fiona has been condemned to be "released" for helping him. Just as she is about to be "released" by Jonas' father (Alexander Skarsgård), the Giver steps in and stalls the Chief Elder with memories of his daughter, Rosemary, trying to call out the Chief Elder but is unsuccessful.

Eventually, Jonas finds a sled, like the one that he rode in a memory from the Giver, and makes his way beyond the border of Elsewhere, releasing memories and color vision back into the community, thus saving Fiona and Jonas' father who realizes what he's doing. Right then, Jonas' mother sheds a single tear as she finally understands the feeling of love. Jonas and Gabe return to the house of his memories, where people are singing Christmas carols, and the voiceover says that back in the community, he swears that he hears music or possibly just an echo.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Jeff Bridges initially wanted to film the movie in the mid-1990s, and a script was written by 1998. Various barriers marred the production of the film, including when Warner Bros. bought the rights in 2007. The rights then ended up at The Weinstein Company and Walden Media.

Bridges originally intended that his own father, Lloyd Bridges, would play the title character, The Giver,[4] but he died in 1998.

Principal photography began on October 7, 2013 in Cape Town and Johannesburg.[5] Meryl Streep had some of her scenes shot in England, where she also filmed Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, before doing additional filming two months later in Paarl, a town near Cape Town.[6][7] The filming was completed on February 13, 2014 in Utah.[8]

Music[edit]

The score for The Giver was composed by Marco Beltrami.[9] The song "Ordinary Human" by OneRepublic was featured in the movie.[10] The film also features Tori Kelly's "Silent". The soundtrack was released on August 5, 2014 by Interscope Records.[11]

Release[edit]

The first official trailer for the film was released on March 19, 2014.[12] On April 11, 2014, more footage from the film was revealed.[13] A second trailer was released on June 4.[14]

On July 11, 2014, it was announced that The Weinstein Company and Walden Media would be teaming up with Fathom Events to stream the red carpet premiere to more than 250 theaters in the US on August 11, four days before its official release. Ziegfeld Theatre hosted the film's premiere in New York City.[15]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Giver grossed $45.1 million in North America and $21.9 million overseas for a worldwide total of $67 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[2]

The film earned $4.7 million on its opening day.[16] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12.3 million, finishing in 5th place at the box office.[17]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 35% based on 154 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10 (as of 12/2017). The site's critical consensus reads, "Phillip Noyce directs The Giver with visual grace, but the movie doesn't dig deep enough into the classic source material's thought-provoking ideas."[18] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 47 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[19]

Richard Roeper gave the film a "C," stating that "the magic [of the novel] gets lost in translation" but that the film had its heart in the right place.[20]

Accolades[edit]

AwardCategoryNomineeResult
Denver Film Critics Society 2014Best Original Song"Ordinary Human"Nominated
Heartland Film 2014Truly Moving Picture AwardWon[citation needed]
Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) 2014Soundtrack AlbumNominated[citation needed]
41st People's Choice AwardsFavorite Dramatic MovieNominated
Joey Awards 2014Young Actress Age 9 or Younger in a Feature Film Leading RoleEmma TremblayNominated[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Jeff Bridges and author Lois Lowry at an event for the film in 2014

  1. ^"THE GIVER (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ abc"The Giver (2014) - Box Office Mojo". August 15, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  3. ^Busis, Hillary (September 27, 2013). "Taylor Swift will co-star in long-awaited adaptation of 'The Giver'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  4. ^Graser, Marc (June 27, 2011). "Bridges giving 'Giver' another shot". Variety. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  5. ^Finn, Natalie (September 30, 2013). "Katie Holmes: "Excited" to Shoot The Giver With Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and More". E! Online. Retrieved October 1, 2013.  
  6. ^Venable, Nick (September 26, 2013). "Katie Holmes Joins Meryl Streep And Jeff Bridges In The Giver". Cinema Blend. Retrieved October 18, 2013.  
  7. ^Cerasaro, Pat (December 9, 2013). "Silver Fox! Meryl Streep Arrives In Costume On Set Of THE GIVER". Broadway World. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  8. ^Dumas, Daisy (February 15, 2014). "Chilling end to filming of Noyce's blockbuster". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  9. ^"Marco Beltrami to Score Phillip Noyce's 'The Giver'". filmmusicreporter.com. June 19, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  10. ^Lee, Ashley (July 10, 2014). "'The Giver': New Footage Premieres OneRepublic Song 'Ordinary Human' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  11. ^"'The Giver' Soundtrack Details". filmmusicreporter.com. July 21, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  12. ^Busis, Hillary (March 19, 2014). "'The Giver' trailer: Meryl Streep! Jeff Bridges! Color?! VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  13. ^Doty, Meriah (April 11, 2014). "Fans, Are You Happy? 'The Giver' Goes Black and White, Officially". Yahoo. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  14. ^Stedman, Alex (June 4, 2014). "Watch: Rebellion Begins in 'The Giver' New Trailer". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  15. ^Ford, Rebecca (July 11, 2014). "'The Giver' to Screen in 250 Theaters Across the U.S. During Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  16. ^McClintock, Pamela (August 15, 2014). "Box Office: 'Expendables 3' Earns Dismal $5.9M Friday for Franchise-Worst Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  17. ^"Weekend Report: 'Turtles,' 'Guardians' Crush Weak 'Expendables'". Box Office Mojo. August 17, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  18. ^"The Giver". Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster. Retrieved September 11, 2016. 
  19. ^"The Giver". Metacritic/CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  20. ^"The Giver | RichardRoeper.com". www.richardroeper.com. Retrieved 2016-01-24.