The Giver: What Do We Need To Know?

American social science film, The Giver, was recently released on 15 August in the USA and is due to hit UK cinemas in the next few months. The film centres on a ‘perfect’ utopian society that lives without pain, war, suffering, differences or choice. However, when 12-year-old Jonas, played by Brenton Thwaites, is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories, he must take on the emotions lacking in his perfect community and confront the unhappy truths of the real world.

The Giver
Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaites star in The Giver

Based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Lois Lowry, the movie has been produced by Jeff Bridges who spent years trying to bring the futuristic novel to the big screen. After encountering obstacles when Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film, Bridges was finally able to bring his vision to worldwide cinemas.

But, before we watch it, what do we need to know?

The Book

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a children’s novel which follows a boy named Jonas as he goes through the twelfth year of his life. His society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to ‘Sameness’ - a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from the lives of the perfect society inhabitants.

MORE: The Giver Relies On The Experience Of Jeff Bridges And Meryl Streep

When selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, Jonas is guided by the present Receiver, The Giver, and begins to experience emotions, both happy and sad, for the first time.

The Giver has received polarized criticism since its publication. It won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 10 million copies, appearing on many middle school reading lists in Australia, Canada and the United States. However, it is also one of the most challenged books of the 1990s, meaning its removal from libraries and school curriculums has been requested many times.

The Cast

The Giver
Brenton Thwaites plays Jonas in The Giver

Producer Jeff Bridges was keen for his father, Lloyd Bridges, to play the role of The Giver in the film; however, after a number of set-backs, he took on the pivotal role himself.

Brenton Thwaites takes the other main lead as Jonas, the Receiver of Memory. Thwaites is an Australian actor who is best known for parts in teen drama SLiDE and the soap opera, Home and Away.

MORE: Meryl Streep Stars In Disney's Musical Adaptation, Into The Woods

Meryl Streep undertakes the main role of the Chief Elder and smaller parts are filled by Alexander Skarsgård as Jonas’ father, Katie Holmes as Jonas’ mother and Taylor Swift as Rosemary, the Giver’s child.

The Reviews

So far, reviews of The Giver have been mixed.

Rotten Tomatoes said: "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."

The Guardian gave the film 3/5 stars saying:"Phillip Noyce’s futureworld looks great and, despite a dodgy script and some familiar tropes, it gets the essentials right."

However, The Slate states that the movies struggles with "sameness" and "claims to oppose conformity but warps its source material to resemble every other teen-marketed dystopia."

Watch the trailer for The Giver here.


Tags: Jeff Bridges - Meryl Streep - Taylor Swift - Phillip Noyce


More Jeff Bridges

The Giver Movie Review

Yet another teen sci-fi adventure, this movie may be sharply well-made but it struggles to find anything to say to an audience that has explored...

Jeff Bridges Brings His Wife Along To 'The Giver' NY Premiere - Part 5

Jeff Bridges and his wife of 37 years Susan Geston made their way to the New York premiere of 'The Giver' held at the Ziegfeld...

Who Is The Young Actor Brenton Thwaites?

An impressive cast of screen veterans, promising young newcomers, a multi-millions selling pop star and Katie Holmes have assembled for the dystopian sci-fi pic The...

The Giver: What Do We Need To Know?

American social science film, The Giver, was recently released on 15 August in the USA and is due to hit UK cinemas in the next...


Uneventful Box Office Maintains Summer Momentum

Not much to report from the box office after this week – despite all its manpower, Expendables 3 just couldn’t outgun previous chart toppers Teenage...

Jeff Bridges Wanted To Direct Father Lloyd in 'The Giver'

Jeff Bridgeshas revealed that he stumbled across his latest projectThe Giverby looking through children's books in search for a project for his father, Lloyd. Bridges...

The Lesser Known Films Of Robin Williams

The late Robin Williams was well-known for a number of iconic roles and had spread his talent liberally across comedy, thriller, drama and animation. From...

Weinstein's 'The Giver' Relies on Experience of Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep

There were nervous, twitchy looks around the various Hollywood studios when Harvey Weinstein announced he was dipping his toe into the young-adult genre. That said,...



Jeff Bridges Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Jeff Bridges

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All