Normally we don't cover "teasers" in the Yes No Maybe So trailer series but we'll make an exception with The Giver because it is trapped somewhere between a short teaser and a full length trailer. And because we might not want to talk about it again, if this 'traiser' is evidence. Despite two of the world's greatest actors (Jeff Bridges & Meryl Streep) helping it along our appetite is not whetted.
The movie, based on a fantastical YA bestseller (aren't they all?), is about a boy living in an utopian future that is actually a dystopia. SURPRISE! La Streep plays the Elder, who likes to be the figurehead of the repressive harmonious society and Jeff Bridges, her mirror on the other side, who helps our young hero to see the truth.
The trailer and our YNMS breakdown after the jump
- No, I'm sure I have something...
- Just a second...
- Oh, yes. The creepy shot of the protagonist pulled up tractor beam-like while holding a baby. It conveys outmatched hopelessness which is a good place to put your protagonist
- Brendon Thwaites is kind of adorbs, at least visually
- I do like the weird souring of the musical plinking as the title card appears, nice anti-fanciful touch
- aIiiYeeeek, Katie Holmes. No one warned me of this. Not nice! Don't scare me like that.
- So, if they don't take their injections they suddenly see the world for what it is? Matrix much?
- God even the title card design is generic
- When is Jeff Bridges going to do a non-affected normal-voiced character again?
- This will betray my political bias a bit but I'm not crazy about utopias that are actually dystopias in fiction. What is so scary about idyllic harmonious societies? It seems the human race fears peace far more than they fear war and that's often mirrored in our art. I guess 'better the devil you know...' It reminds me of my central issue with Gattaca: the human race would never breed out violence and agression and anger if we could control our DNA because, for better or for worse, we value those things highly.
- "When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong." - Yeesh, it's not exactly poetry. That line actually reminds me of why I couldn't get into The Bates Motel because of mundane everyday dialogue ("I suck. Everyone sucks.") that has no art or gorgeous phrasing to it, the kind that you might hear on the street daily but has no business being in scripted art because it's just too boring.
- I don't normally worry about Production Design in a movie trailer but a lot of the backgrounds look mighty bare. Underfunded? Unfussy minimalism is very difficult to pull off unless you have the confidence of Gattaca. That said Jeff Bridge's lair -- he plays the title character -- looks cool.
- I haven't read the source novel. Maybe it's better than the teaser suggests the movie could be?
I regret to inform that I'm a complete "NO" on this 1½ minute taste and since I'm not a true completist with either Bridges or Streep despite being a life long fan of both (no, I'm not going to see Lions for Lambs or RIPD; you can't make me!) I am likely to remain so unless the reviews are surprisingly strong. How about you?