Patrick Cooper on ‘The Giver’

FFCC newcomer Patrick Cooper reviews Philip Noyce’s The Giver.


Since its publication in 1993, Lois Lowry’s cherished YA novel “The Giver” has been a dream project of Jeff Bridges. He originally intended to direct the film adaptation with his father Lloyd Bridges in the titular role. Two decades and countless “required reading” lists later, he takes on the role himself as the adaptation has finally made it to the big screen in a movie faithful to the text, but flawed in many ways.

Although The Giver offers up a loyal adaptation, it does so at a relentless pace – the book’s 180 or so pages condensed to 90 minutes. The film feels even shorter than that. Due to this action-film momentum, much of the book’s central themes of humanity and love conquering all are entirely lost. Traces of the sentiment are there but they’re left in the dust in favor of heavy-handed conflict and moments so overwhelmingly sentimental they teeter on the verge of comedic.

Review continues at the Orlando Weekly.

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