When you take an iconic book like “The Giver” and turn it into a movie, it has to enhance and perfectly portray the original or else it will immediately fall under harsh criticism. Not only is “The Giver” an iconic book, but it is one that is on most middle school and high school reading lists which puts it under even more scrutiny as everybody is familiar with it. I enjoyed the seeing the story onscreen but did not care for its execution. I think that the biggest mistake was the casting. Of course Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Katie Holmes were all smart choices and act as well as you would expect, but their performances are overshadowed by the blandness of the teenage actors. The worst of these is Taylor Swift, who couldn’t even sing in tune during this performance. There is so much magic in Lois Lowry’s book and it is pretty magical to see the director’s realization of the Community, but the poignant statements about government control and socialism are lost in this film. I adore the original book and I adore dystopian films, but this rendition of “The Giver” needs to go to the same place as the lost memories of the Community.
[Pictured: The adults were great... but the kids were not]