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The Giver (2014)

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I've been waiting not so patiently for this movie and I was not disappointed. I would never argue for it as a great movie, but I enjoyed it and thought it was a pretty good adaptation.


I have a friend who refuses to see it because of the change in Jonas's age, but it didn't bother me at all. I thought Thwaites did a good job playing Jonas as innocent enough for it to be believable. Also, Swift was hardly in the movie at all, thank goodness (she was the only thing I was dreading). Katie Holmes was definitely the low point, but overall I really liked it.


If anything, I wish they would have been more graphic in the memories Jonas was receiving. I was shocked though, in a good way, that the Holocaust wasn't one of them. It would have been too cliché. Though I'm not sure the war scenes got across the pain and suffering and hate that I would have liked.


The romance was definitely there, but I didn't think it took over the movie at all. I liked the girl who played Fiona and I loved the tray sliding scene.

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Like purplemouth, I thought this wasn't Oscar worthy, but it conveys the message of the book well enough. And word about Katie Holmes. God, was she on autopilot or what? Even Taylor Swift acted circles around her in her blessedly short scenes.

When I saw Asher be assigned as pilot, I thought TIIC were setting up for him screwing up like the guy in the book and being released. That seemed like a lost oppertunity to me, and could've brought more urgency into saving Gabe without the cliche best friends fighting thing at the end.

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I saw the movie this past weekend and agree that it was, if not Oscar-worthy, quite enjoyable; imo a lot of the reviews have been unduly harsh.* The Giver is a particularly hard book to make appealing as a movie, I think, but this did the trick decently (it may help that I haven't read the book in probably a decade). And I'm willing to handwave some of the changes they made to the book, which have sent others into a tizzy, as being necessary to turn it into a movie, insofar as a super faithful book adaptation would've been a really hard sell as a YA movie. The cast were pretty uniformly appealing (to my surprise I was most underwhelmed by Jeff Bridges, actually, he was just so not how I pictured the Giver); I especially liked Jonas and Fiona and bought their bond. And the kid who played Lily was a hoot!, while Holmes and Skarsgard hit just the right note of off/creepy without being overly off/creepy.


Saw this movie this week.  Thought it was okay but something was missing.

However, I agree with this. The movie just never quite found its spark. The scene where Jonas is made Receiver should've been the movie's equivalent of the reaping scene in Hunger Games, and it just didn't pull it off. I know the whole point of the community is that there's no tension, so it's hard, but the movie failed to create a whole lot of dramatic tension. I don't often say this about movies, but it maybe could've used another 15 minutes.


*I'm really surprised that some of the reviews are like "the movie missed the point of the book!" or "the movie downplayed the book's philosophical implications way too much." Like, I thought the movie was, if anything, pretty heavy-handed about its philosophical message, much more so than many recent YA adaptations.

Edited by stealinghome
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As a huge fan of the book, I didn’t care for the movie at all. I’m not really a book purist - there are some changes or explanations that I thought worked (e.g. the memory boundary line), but so many more that didn’t. Yeah, I'm someone who hated that they aged up Jonas, maybe because it was so obviously done to write in more of an overt romance between him and Fiona and make it more YA-friendly. (The book is more middle grade than YA.) I wouldn’t have cared about Fiona’s expanded role if, once again, it hadn’t been so obviously done for romance’s sake. The Chief Elder being the Big Bad: no. I liked that the book didn’t have some overarching Big Bad villain. The drones… no, movie, please fuck off with that shit, kthx. I also wasn’t a fan of the overall future aesthetic, but that was a minor quibble in comparison to everything else.


I was pleasantly surprised that they kept in the twin release scene, because I was predicting that they’d switch it to an elderly release scene. And I did have a minor squee moment when a clip from this video showed up during one of the memory flashes:


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   Well, I'll probably wind up catching this on Redbox but I'm glad to know they actually kept the twin release scene.


   The movie has actually managed to make back it's production budget and then some, so it's not the total flop I thought it was going to be.

Edited by methodwriter85
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I'm not sure what it was about this film, but it really captivated me. (To be fair, though, I've been a huge fan of the book since it's publication.)


I thought the casting was spot-on.  Katie Holmes and Taylor Swioft were both excellent, even though their roles were miniscule.  And Brenton Thwaites, aside from being utterly adorable, absolutely captures the essence of Jonas, depsite the fact that book Jonas is a good 6 (or so) years younger than movie-Jonas. (He also had parts in "Maleficent" and "The Signal" all out earlier this year.)


And the dream-like style of the film, coupled with the startling usage of colors just added to the richness of tapestry.


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Guest Accused Dingo

I just saw this via Netflix and this is one of the few book adaptations I have seen. I rather enjoyed it. Bi am not a book purist and I don't demand line by line perfection so that helps. I just need the emotion to work for me and it did in spades. I enjoyed the story when I read it and I enjoyed the movie version as well.

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