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THE GIVER Post-Release Discussion
ASpoiling everything.

My girlfriend wanted to see this on the basis of it having "the hot guy from True Blood." Not the kind of movie I'd go out of my way to see, but since I read the book in eighth grade I was serviceably intrigued. Also: Jeff Bridges.

It was about what I was expecting. I braced myself for some aggressive sappiness so I didn't have to cringe too hard when humanity's memories of "suffering" and "cruelty" were things like an elephant getting shot and a Vietnam War needle drop. I can't remember if the book was so on the nose with that stuff, but I can tell you the Youtube vignette of life-affirming Hallmark/MasterCard commercials that restored everyone's feelings at the end was hilarious.

The ending of the book was wide open, so I knew they'd come up with something more third act-y. At least, I'm pretty sure they invented the whole ticking bomb of the love interest getting ponderously closer - I think the needle inches toward her for seven and a half hours - to a lethal injection. And again, it's been fifteen lifetimes, but I think the screenplay also introduced the concept of the magical Zelda barrier that instantly reboots humanity (which in the context of this movie is Meryl Streep and Katie Holmes ceasing to be such dicks) when Jonas crosses it.

Anyway, it certainly lives up to the book. Not un-recommended.

One single post. Poor The Giver.

It seems it was Harvey Weinstein who fucked the film, according to Jeff Bridges.


“It was difficult because I love the book, you know, and I’d been through many, many scripts trying to get the book right, and I knew there were all these fans. And then finally Harvey Weinstein said, ‘Oh, I’ll make that,’ but I knew getting Harvey involved [meant] I was going to have to let go of my vision, because he had ideas,”

On Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, “I came to a fork in the road when they said ‘yeah we’ll make this film, but this is the way we want to make it’, I could have said, ‘well, thank you very much, bon voyage, I’m not gonna do that with you’ or just kind of take an adventure and realize that it wasn’t gonna be exactly how I imagined it. I just decided to do it sort of as a spiritual exercise in letting go.”


Just caught this on Netflix. It's pretty "SAFE". It has the look you probably imagined when you read the book, but lacks the bite. Someone with a very specific and unique vision could have turned it into a very hard drama, but a lot of the scenes (except for Bridges doing the best he can) simply go through the motions. This movie needed to slow the fuck down and get rid of the fucking narration.


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