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REVIEW OF THE GIVER STARRING JEFF BRIDGES

2014 rating: **1/2
Think of a movie where a snowy sled represents lost youth… No not that movie… Now there’s another… And this particular youthful reverie is not only lost, but non-existent...

In the kind of future liken to those politically correct children’s baseball leagues where no one keeps score, THE GIVER is set in a perfect world utopia on what seems like an island surrounded by clouds – and King Kong is nowhere in sight. Seriously speaking, it’s a pretty neat place without any hatred, vengeance, vanity, jealousy or... freedom.

Well that last thing is what young and gifted Jonas (wielding all the powers at once ala DIVERGENT) discovers when he’s given the occupation as the community’s Receiver of Memories... His job is to ride a bike to a lonely place near the cloudy Cliffside where The Giver, played by a Kris Kristofferson-looking Jeff Bridges, provides him with memories of the past to help guide the Elders, led by a monotonic Meryl Streep, with decisions, or something. Yet what Jonas learns is all about the good things absent in the steely paradise: from kissing his girl/friend (Odeya Rush), to riding that sled to some things not so nice, like flashes of war, hunger and rioting. 

The story is mysterious and builds nicely until about halfway through when the plot becomes a message so clear, the creative use of B&W cinematography, in gaining various hues, gets too preachy and predictable for its own good. Ironically enough, THE GIVER is far more vibrant without any color.
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