Since its publication in 1993 (and Newbery Medal victory in 1994), Lois Lowry’s young adult novel The Giver has become a staple of middle-school curricula. The book’s story about a boy who learns the truth about his seemingly utopian society offers lots of opportunities for students to discuss conformity, freedom, and the gift of knowledge. The movie version of The Giver—directed by veteran action/adventure filmmaker Phillip Noyce—stars Jeff Bridges as the title character, who’s tasked to pass along the secret history of the world to a young apprentice, Jonas (played by Brenton Thwaites), but provides more information than the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep) would like anyone to know.
The latest trailer for The Giver reveals how Jonas’ enlightenment may spell doom for his people:
The trail of the tape
Title: The Giver
Director: Phillip Noyce
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep
Release date: August 15, 2014
Tagline: “To free his world, he must defy it.”
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue:“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
I haven’t read The Giver, but it was the one book that my fiction-averse 7th grader read this past school year that left enough of an impression on him that months later he could still recite the entire plot to his fantasy-loving younger sister. So, since this movie will probably prompt a rare whole-family trip to the multiplex for the Murrays, I’m pleased to see that Noyce is bringing some visual style to the picture, from the futuristic set design to the mix of color and black-and-white. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a Streep/Bridges stand-off (with Bridges at his most marble-mouthed)? Even at a time when YA science-fiction adaptations are overly common, The Giver looks like it could be fairly exciting, if only for the debates it’ll inspire on the ride home from the theater.