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The Giver is a 2014 American social science fiction dystopian film directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Cameron Monaghan, Taylor Swift, Emma Tremblay, Thabo Rametsi, and brothers Alexander and James Jillings.[3] The film is based on the 1993 young adult novel of the same name by Lois Lowry.

The Giver
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhillip Noyce
Produced by
Screenplay byMichael Mitnick
Robert B. Weide
Based onThe Giver
by Lois Lowry
Music byMarco Beltrami
CinematographyRoss Emery
Edited byBarry Alexander Brown
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company
Release date
  • August 11, 2014 (2014-08-11) (Ziegfeld Theatre)
  • August 15, 2014 (2014-08-15) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$67 million[2]

The Giver premiered on August 11, 2014, and was released theatrically in the United States on August 15, 2014, grossing $67 million on a $25 million budget. It received a People's Choice Award nomination for "Favorite Dramatic Movie". However, it received generally mixed reviews from critics.



Following a calamity, referred to as The Ruin, society is reorganized into a series of communities, and all memories of the past are held by one person, the Receiver of Memory, for the purpose of shielding the rest of the community from their pain. Since the Receiver of Memory is the only individual in the community with memories from earlier times, they must advise the Chief Elder and the other Elders on decisions. The Receiver of Memory and their protégé are the only ones able to see in color, an ability otherwise eliminated from the community so as to prevent envy.

Jonas is a 16-year-old boy who, like everyone else, is anxious about the career that he will be assigned. His best friends are Asher and Fiona. On the day of graduation, everyone is assigned a career. Jonas is briefly skipped. He is not assigned a career until the end of the ceremony, when he is told that he will become the next Receiver of Memory and will progressively receive memories from his predecessor, the Giver. Upon assuming his role, Jonas learns of the past of the Giver and his child, Rosemary, who had preceded Jonas as Receiver of Memory. However, Rosemary was so distraught from the memories that she asked to be euthanized, which led to Jonas taking her place 10 years later.

Those who die are said to have been "released to elsewhere", but Jonas learns that it is really a euphemism for death by lethal injection. Jonas begins to teach his findings to Fiona and decides to share the idea of emotions. Fiona, who is unable to comprehend the idea of emotion, is unsure how she feels. Jonas then tells her to stop taking the injection and the next day, he kisses her, an antiquated action that is unknown to the community and which Jonas gained through memory. Jonas also shares his memories with the baby, Gabriel, who was brought home by his father, to their house. He develops a close relationship with him after discovering that he shares the same mark on his wrist Jonas does, the mark of a potential Receiver of Memory.

Jonas decides that everyone should have the memories of the past and eventually, the Giver and Jonas decide that the only way to help the community is to go past the border of what they call "Elsewhere" and beyond the community. That would release the memories back into the community. Jonas sneaks out at curfew and decides to get Gabe at the Nurturing Center, who is to be "released" for his general weakness. Asher, his other longtime friend beside Fiona, tries to stop him before he leaves the neighborhood, but Jonas quickly punches him. Asher lies on the ground, stunned, and Jonas rides his bike to the Giver's dwelling. Jonas tells the Giver, and the Giver, reluctant to let Jonas leave first, lets him leave after giving him memories of courage. He rushes to the Nurturing Center. He tells Fiona of his plan and wants to take her with him, but she refuses and instead helps him retrieve Gabe. Before he leaves, she kisses him then aids in his escape.

Meanwhile, Jonas' mother and Asher go to the Chief Elder to tell them Jonas is missing. Guards are sent to contain Jonas, who they say has become "dangerous," but Jonas gets one of their motorcycles and drives off the cliff near the Giver's dwelling into Elsewhere. Asher is assigned by the Chief Elder to use a drone to find Jonas and "lose" him, but when he finds Jonas stumbling through the desert, he instead captures Jonas with the drone. After Jonas implores Asher to think that if he ever cared for Jonas and would let him go, Asher sets him free by dropping him into a river. Jonas stumbles onto Elsewhere, and Fiona has been condemned to be "released" for helping him. Just as she is about to be "released" by Jonas' father, the Giver steps in and stalls the Chief Elder with memories of his daughter, Rosemary, trying to call out the Chief Elder but is unsuccessful.

Eventually, Jonas finds a sled, like the one that he rode in a memory from the Giver, and makes his way beyond the border of Elsewhere, releasing memories and color back into the community, thus saving Fiona as Jonas' father realizes what he's doing. Jonas and Gabe return to the house Jonas had seen in his memories, where people are singing Christmas carols, and the voiceover says that back in the community, he swears that he hears music or possibly just an echo, but it is "enough to bring [the community] all home."



Jeff Bridges and author Lois Lowry at an event for the film in 2014

Jeff Bridges initially wanted to film the movie in the mid-1990s, and a script was written by 1998. Various barriers marred the production of the film, including when Warner Bros. bought the rights in 2007. The rights then ended up at The Weinstein Company and Walden Media.

Bridges originally intended that his own father, Lloyd Bridges, would play the title character, The Giver,[4] but he died in 1998.

Principal photography began on October 7, 2013 in Cape Town and Johannesburg.[5] Meryl Streep had some of her scenes shot in England, where she also filmed Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, before doing additional filming two months later in Paarl, a town near Cape Town.[6][7] The filming was completed on February 13, 2014 in Utah.[8]


The score for The Giver was composed by Marco Beltrami.[9] The song "Ordinary Human" by OneRepublic was featured in the movie.[10] The film also features Tori Kelly's "Silent". The soundtrack was released on August 5, 2014 by Interscope Records.[11]


The first official trailer for the film was released on March 19, 2014.[12] On April 11, 2014, more footage from the film was revealed.[13] A second trailer was released on June 4.[14]

On July 11, 2014, it was announced that The Weinstein Company and Walden Media would be teaming up with Fathom Events to stream the red carpet premiere to more than 250 theaters in the US on August 11, four days before its official release. Ziegfeld Theatre hosted the film's premiere in New York City.[15]


Box officeEdit

Brenton Thwaites and Odeya Rush were praised by critics for their performances.

The Giver grossed $45.1 million in North America and $21.9 million overseas for a worldwide total of $67 million, against a production budget of $25 million.[2]

The film earned $4.7 million on its opening day.[16] In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12.3 million, finishing in 5th place at the box office.[17]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 35% based on 160 reviews with an average rating of 5.29/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Phillip Noyce directs The Giver with visual grace, but the movie doesn't dig deep enough into the classic source material's thought-provoking ideas."[18] On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 47 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[19]

Richard Roeper gave the film a "C" and stated that "the magic [of the novel] gets lost in translation".[20]


Award Category Nominee Result
Denver Film Critics Society 2014 Best Original Song "Ordinary Human" Nominated
Heartland Film 2014 Truly Moving Picture Award Won[citation needed]
Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) 2014 Soundtrack Album Nominated[citation needed]
41st People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Movie Nominated
Joey Awards 2014 Young Actress Age 9 or Younger in a Feature Film Leading Role Emma Tremblay Nominated[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "THE GIVER (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "The Giver (2014) - Box Office Mojo". August 15, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  3. ^ Busis, Hillary (September 27, 2013). "Taylor Swift will co-star in long-awaited adaptation of 'The Giver'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Graser, Marc (June 27, 2011). "Bridges giving 'Giver' another shot". Variety. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Finn, Natalie (September 30, 2013). "Katie Holmes: "Excited" to Shoot The Giver With Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift and More". E! Online. Retrieved October 1, 2013. Principal photography on the film is scheduled to begin Oct. 7 in Cape Town with an eye on an Aug. 15, 2014, theatrical release.
  6. ^ Venable, Nick (September 26, 2013). "Katie Holmes Joins Meryl Streep And Jeff Bridges In The Giver". Cinema Blend. Retrieved October 18, 2013. The Giver, which also stars Alexander Skarsgård, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan and Emma Tremblay, is looking to go into production soon in South Africa, but because Streep will be shooting Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods in England, she will likely have her scenes filmed there as well.
  7. ^ Cerasaro, Pat (December 9, 2013). "Silver Fox! Meryl Streep Arrives In Costume On Set Of THE GIVER". Broadway World. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  8. ^ Dumas, Daisy (February 15, 2014). "Chilling end to filming of Noyce's blockbuster". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Marco Beltrami to Score Phillip Noyce's 'The Giver'". June 19, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  10. ^ Lee, Ashley (July 10, 2014). "'The Giver': New Footage Premieres OneRepublic Song 'Ordinary Human' (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "'The Giver' Soundtrack Details". July 21, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  12. ^ Busis, Hillary (March 19, 2014). "'The Giver' trailer: Meryl Streep! Jeff Bridges! Color?! VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  13. ^ Doty, Meriah (April 11, 2014). "Fans, Are You Happy? 'The Giver' Goes Black and White, Officially". Yahoo. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  14. ^ Stedman, Alex (June 4, 2014). "Watch: Rebellion Begins in 'The Giver' New Trailer". Variety. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Ford, Rebecca (July 11, 2014). "'The Giver' to Screen in 250 Theaters Across the U.S. During Premiere". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 15, 2014). "Box Office: 'Expendables 3' Earns Dismal $5.9M Friday for Franchise-Worst Debut". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  17. ^ "Weekend Report: 'Turtles,' 'Guardians' Crush Weak 'Expendables'". Box Office Mojo. August 17, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  18. ^ "The Giver (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  19. ^ "The Giver". Metacritic/CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  20. ^ "The Giver |". Retrieved 2016-01-24.

External linksEdit