The Giver

The Giver

With our federal government currently suffering record levels of disapproval, political pundits are starting to look to the future. Millenials are quickly aging into a vital role in our national culture, but their politics are hard to parse. Many pundits have assumed them to be liberal, based on the instrumental role they played in Obama’s ascendance in 2008, but recent evidence suggests the picture is not so clear. Last month, an article at The Atlantic commented smugly on this phenomenon, arguing that the politics of Millennials don’t make any sense. “Millennials don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to economics,” the author wrote. “Forty-two percent…think socialism is preferable to capitalism, but only 16 percent…could accurately define socialism in the survey.”  But if politics is downstream of culture, maybe the movies, which count young Americans as their most prized demographic, can tell us more about the ascending generation’s complicated political values. As a case study, look at Hollywood’s hottest genre: the dystopian young adult adaptation. These films – such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and the just-released The Giver – are hyper-political. They reflect our dissatisfaction with government and address the need for political revolution, but their politics are not radical, and their calls for change are increasingly uninspired. In fact, the evolution of the genre suggests that Millennials – to which these films are most heavily marketed – may be far more ready to abandon traditional liberalism that most pundits have suggested.

read more...

Cast of PICKET FENCES

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other FSR readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend.

read more...

The Giver

Since Lois Lowry‘s The Giver was published 21 years ago there’s been an abundance of YA novels that have explored similar territory, likely inspired by her ubiquitous summer reading assignment. Director Philip Noyce‘s film is at a disadvantage in that regard, playing catch up on a trend launched partly by the material he’s adapting. The slew of recent young adult films haven’t been wildly dissimilar from one another, often dealing with characters trying to break free from a familiar dystopia, yet Noyce’s film manages to standout from the herd by being a surprisingly faithful and, more importantly, good adaptation. In this black-and-white community, Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is about to turn 16 years old, which means getting a job assignment. Jonas’s assignment isn’t one he’s ever heard of: receiver of memory. As the job title implies, it’s someone who holds the memories of the old world, where there was war, music, dancing, love, and all other kinds of emotions that have no place in this perfect future, which is led by the chilly Chief Elder (Meryl Streep). The man who prepares Jonas for his position is known as The Giver (Jeff Bridges). He slowly shares memories of the way things used to be, opening the young man’s eyes until he sees his world for what it truly is: a lie. Jonas rebels.

read more...

Must See Movies of August

When it comes to major releases, this summer was somewhat junky. Before this season is even over already A Million Ways to Die in the West, Malificent, Transformers: Age of Extinction feel like distant memories. This summer wasn’t packed with offensively bad movies, but a few too many middle-of-the-road ones. Thankfully, there was enough standout major releases to not make this summer of popcorn eating a total loss. We got Edge of Tomorrow, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, and, a real delightful surprise last week, Lucy. We also saw a slew of great limited releases with Boyhood, Coherence, The Rover, Obvious Child, They Came Together, Snowpiercer, and more. They also helped make us forget about the more underwhelming blockbusters that were released these past three months. At first glance, summer 2014 doesn’t seem so hot, but once you look at all the good films that came out, we don’t have too much to complain about. The same goes for this August, which begins with Marvel’s most fun movie yet. Here are the 8 must see movies of August 2014.

read more...

The Giver Movie 2014 Black and White

When it came out in 1993, “The Giver” was a rare story. Nowadays a dystopian sci-fi future for tweens is the norm, but back then there was something very special about Lois Lowry’s book. It was a depressing tale of corruption and governmental overreach for us kids! So it’s impressive to see the new trailer for Phillip Noyce‘s movie version because it delivers on a black and white promise that takes guts to pull off with modern cinema. It’s easy to imagine the suggestion of making a black and white adventure aimed at the YA crowd being laughed out of the room, and there were even fan grumblings [raises hand] when an earlier, full-color trailer landed a few months back, so this is encouraging. It’s also what makes the narrative changes so surprising. They had the conviction to hold tight to a semblance of the visual concept, but they’ve transformed the story by leaps and bounds in order to make it look like every other YA adventure on the market. Lowry’s book was — like “1984” and “Brave New World” and others before it — deeply contemplative, particularly for a book focused on an 11-year-old boy. It was introspective and philosophically challenging. The movie? Not so much. Also, you won’t want to watch the trailer if you don’t want to see the entire plot condensed to two minutes. They show pretty much everything here:

read more...

The Giver

Middle school is a great time to breed a little affinity for anarchy, and it sure seems as if the advanced English classes (nerd) I took during my junior high years possessed a certain bent, one aimed at getting our little minds to righteously reject the status quo — at least, as it applied to the fiction books we read. There was “Animal Farm” and “Brave New World” and “Anthem” and “Fahrenheit 451″ and “1984.” And there was also Lois Lowry‘s “The Giver,” which was perhaps the most age-appropriate of all the dystopian novels we read back then — hey, it’s about kids! — and the one now set for a big screen telling (albeit one that somehow stars Taylor Swift and takes some big liberties with the various ages of its youngest characters). Lowry’s novel is excellent (and it’s one hell of a tearjerker) and just finely wrought enough to appeal to both kids and adults alike. The book (and now, Phillip Noyce‘s film) focuses on a future society that bills itself as utopian, but soon reveals itself to be, well, totally not. The world inhabited by the young Jonas (aged up from eleven-years-old in the book, so that Brenton Thwaites can play him) has been changed to embrace “Sameness,” which removes all emotion, choice and richness from people’s lives in order to keep them in line and, on the surface, at peace. Great plan, right? Ha! Although you might vaguely remember these rules from your own readings — hmm, something about twins? — it’s time […]

read more...

YA Adaptations

There’s little question that Hollywood’s “adapt anything YA!” attitude has helped shepherd a new line of strong (or, at least, pretend strong, as is the case with Twilight’s Bella Swan, a bell I will ring until the day I die) young female heroines into the pop cultural consciousness. The Hunger Games has the sharp-shooting Katniss Everdeen (who will soon incite a revolution in the next two films based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling three-book series), while Divergent has the fear-blasting Tris Prior (who will, hey, look at that!, also soon incite a revolution in the nest three films based on Veronica Roths’s bestselling three-book series). Even less popular film franchises, like Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, and The Host are female-led endeavors that may include some cool (read: hot) male counterparts to help their kickass ladies where needed, though they are quite firmly dedicated to portraying ladies in charge. Yet, now it appears that boys are inching their way back into the YA game – not by way of wizardry or godly genetics, but by traveling the same path that the girls have already trailblazed: the gritty one.

read more...

The Giver Movie 2014

Lois Lowry‘s landmark YA novel was a massive part of growing up in the era of Jurassic Park. It’s taken a long time to see The Giver in movie form, but it’s finally here with Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep leading the charge into the perfect future. For those who haven’t read the book, it takes place in a pristine, peaceful society, but like in all too-goo-to-be-truetopias, they’ve traded something fundamental for what they consider happiness. Namely, they store emotions, memories of the past, and really any experiences that don’t land on the middle axis inside a single member of society called The Receiver (Bridges). When a young boy named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is chosen to take over the job, he learns the true nature of pain, pleasure and the high cost of a uniform society. Check out the trailer for yourself and be wooed by all the Oscar caliber acting:

read more...

thegivers

It seems like director Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger, Salt) is pretty close to filling out the ensemble cast for his upcoming YA adaptation The Giver. Though it was published in 1994, author Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” is one of those stories set in a future world that are aimed at young people and happen to be all the rage these days. Its world is one that’s free of poverty, disease, and most every kind of hardship, but it has a secret about how it got that way–a terrible secret–and always one person, called the Receiver of Memories, is chosen to hold what that secret is. Already Noyce has young Brenton Thwaites signed up to play the protagonist, Jonas, who is the new kid chosen to hold the memory, Jeff Bridges as the title character, who acts as the boy’s mentor, Meryl Streep as the villain of the piece, who also happens to be the leader of the society and the one who gives the children their roles, and Alexander Skarsgard as Jonas’ impossibly attractive father, and now there are new reports that he’s just signed a duo of actresses who are going to pretty up his ensemble even further.

read more...

macy

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that’s still being typed up with ten fingers, despite the fact that we’re coming off an extended Fourth of July weekend. Victory! Read on for news about acting legend Sophia Loren’s return to the big screen. Good news for fans of William H Macy (AKA everyone)—Deadline is reporting that he and Virginia Madsen are the latest names to join a new indie dramedy called Walter. This one is about a young man who’s trying to juggle his job at a movie theater with a crush he has on his co-worker, the fact that his mother is a real handful, and the fact that he believes that he’s the son of the One True God. Basically, the kid has got a full plate. Macy and Madsen join the already cast Neve Campbell, Leven Rambin, and Milo Ventimiglia. First-timer Anna Mastro is set to direct.

read more...

The Giver

Big news for those of us who have been waiting for the YA adaptation trend to hit home with one of the best of our generation — author Lois Lowry has confirmed that “The Giver” is finally going to get the movie it deserves with Jeff Bridges playing the title role. It’s been a long time coming, but conversations about the possibility of a firm greenlight started this fall, and the author is claiming that everything is now in place to make the project a reality. The Newberry Award-winning book was a must-read back when I was the target of YA authors. It features a painless, peaceful community where everyone has a role to fulfill — one that’s assigned to them when they turn 12. One boy is picked from his class to become The Receiver, a unique position that’s meant to hold all the memories of the society and the world beyond. In the book, it’s a boy named Jonas who is selected to work with The Giver in order to learn the disturbing reality that’s kept from his friends and family in order to make their way of life work. Back when we were doing Print to Projector, I had a few casting ideas of my own for this children’s version of “Brave New World,” but Bridges is certainly inspired. Although the Studio 360 story is short on details beyond the greenlight and Bridges’ involvement, it’s most likely the case that Phillip Noyce (Salt, Clear and Present Danger) is still set […]

read more...

Jonas seems a little different than everyone else in his class, and when he’s given the job of Receiver of Memories, he finally realizes what has been absent from his life and the lives of his family: true love, intense happiness, the rush of adventure.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3