The Giver (film)

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The Giver
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Produced by
  • Neil Koenigsberg
  • Nikki Silver
Screenplay by Michael Mitnick
Robert B. Weide
Based on The Giver 
by Lois Lowry
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography Ross Emery
Edited by Barry Alexander Brown
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
Release dates
  • August 11, 2014 (2014-08-11) (Premiere)
  • August 15, 2014 (2014-08-15) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million[2]
Box office $67 million[2]

The Giver is a 2014 American social science fiction drama film directed by Phillip Noyce, produced by Neil Koenigsberg, Nikki Silver and Walden Media, written by Michael Mitnick and Robert B. Weide with music by Marco Beltrami and based on the 1993 novel of same name by Lois Lowry. The film stars Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes, Cameron Monaghan and Taylor Swift.[3] The Giver premiered on August 11, 2014 and was released theatrically in the United States on August 15, 2014 by The Weinstein Company to generally mixed reviews. The film earned $67 million on a $25 million budget. It received a People's Choice Award nomination for Favorite Dramatic Movie.


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. Since the Receiver of Memory is the only individual in the community who has the memories from before, he must advise the Chief Elder, and the other Elders, on the decisions for the community.

Jonas is a 16-year-old boy who is anxious about the career he will be assigned (along with everyone else). He has two best friends: Asher and Fiona.

On the day of graduation, everyone is assigned a career. Jonas is briefly skipped, as he has not been assigned a career. Instead, Jonas is to become the next Receiver of Memory, and progressively receive memories from the past receiver, The Giver. Upon assuming his role as The Receiver, Jonas learns of the Giver's past and of his child, Rosemary. She preceded Jonas as Receiver of Memory, and was so distraught from the memories that she committed suicide, by what the Community calls releasing. They regard its nature as mysterious; the audience learns that it is death by lethal injection. Jonas begins to teach his findings to his friend Fiona, with whom he decides to share the idea of emotions. Fiona, who is unable to fully comprehend the idea of emotion, is unsure how she feels. Jonas then kisses Fiona, an action which is antiquated and unknown to the community, which Jonas gained through memory.

Jonas also shares his memories with the baby his father brought home to their house, Gabe, and develops a close relationship with him after discovering 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 they can help the community is to go past the border of what they call Elsewhere, beyond the community, therefore releasing 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 due to his general weakness. Asher, his other longtime friend besides 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 Nurturing Center. He tells Fiona his plan and wants to take her with him, but she refuses and instead helps him retrieve Gabe. Before he leaves, she kisses him and helps him 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 Asher finds Jonas stumbling through the woods, he instead captures him with the drone. After Jonas implores Asher to think that if he ever cared for Jonas to let him go, Asher drops him into a river, setting him free. Jonas stumbles through the land of Elsewhere, while 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. Jonas' mother begins to cry starting to understand the feeling of love. Eventually, Jonas finds a sled like one 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 and saving Fiona because Jonas' father realizes what he was really doing. Jonas and Gabe return to the house of his memories, where people are singing Christmas carols, and his voiceover says that back in the community, he swears he hears music too, or possibly just an echo.



Jeff Bridges at an event for the film in 2014

Jeff Bridges had wanted to film the futuristic novel for several years, but encountered obstacles when Warner Bros. bought the rights in 2007. They then ended up at The Weinstein Company and Walden Media. Bridges's actual vision was that his own father, Lloyd Bridges, would play as The Giver.[4] Filming 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]


Author Lois Lowry at an event for the film in 2014

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]


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] As of December 11, 2014, the film has grossed $45,090,374 in North America and $21,890,082 overseas for a worldwide total of $66,980,456.[2] Although the film had rather poor critical reception, it was modestly successful at the box office, from an estimated $25 million budget. Upon its release, The Giver was met with generally mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 36%, based on 146 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's consensus states: "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," stating that “the magic [of the novel] gets lost in translation," but that the film had its heart in the right place.[20]


Denver Film Critics Society 2014
Award Category Nominee
DFCS Award Best Original Song For the song "Ordinary Human". Nominated
Heartland Film 2014
Award Nominee Result
Truly Moving Picture Award Phillip Noyce As Is Productions The Weinstein Company Won
Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) 2014
Award Category Nominee
HMMA Award Soundtrack Album Nominated
People's Choice Awards, USA 2015
Award Category Nominee
People's Choice Award Favorite Dramatic Movie Nominated
The Joey Awards, Vancouver 2014
Award Category Nominee Result
Joey Award Young Actress Age 9 or Younger in a Feature Film Leading Role Emma Tremblay Nominated

See also[edit]


  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. 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". Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster. Retrieved December 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Giver". Metacritic/CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  20. ^

External links[edit]