Filming has begun of the highly-anticipated movie version of the beloved Newberry Award winning novel, The Giver.
Here is the run-down of the cast:
Jonas will be played by Australian actor Brenton Thwaites. He is known for his work in Australian TV such as SLiDE and Home and Away. He has also starred in the TV movie Blue Lagoon: The Awakening.
Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, Crazy Heart, and True Grit) will portray the Giver.
For those who have not read the novel, Lois Lowry’s The Giver is truly a memorable work. Set in a seemingly Utopian society, the main character Jonas embarks on a journey of uncovering the flaws of living in what he now sees as a dystopian society. Bound by conformity, the community has adopted Sameness, in which every citizen dresses and appears according to society’s rules. Color is obsolete, feelings are nonexistent, and climate is controlled. Being slightly different, such as Asher’s (Jonas’s friend) lateness, is frowned upon. Once a child reaches the age of twelve, they are assigned a job based on what the Elders feel is appropriate. Jobs range from being a birth mother, which is considered a demeaning job, to being Caretaker of the Old. After being taken care of in the House of the Old, the old are then “released” from society. Jonas is assigned the job of the Receiver. This job entails keeping all of the unpleasant memories in life such as famine, pain, and war. In addition to the hurtful memories, Jonas also receives memories of joy, happiness and love. With these memories, Jonas begins to question the society he lives in and the existence of Sameness. Jonas uncovers the brutality in this society and enlists the Giver’s help in making changes.
Bringing the dystopian society to life in The Giver will be a challenge. One of the main elements of the story is the absence of color until Jonas receives memories from the Giver pertaining to color. I have noticed that the characters who have dark eyes in the novel are going to be portrayed by those with light-colored eyes. In this society, variation is non-existent. There are only four characters throughout the book that have light-colored eyes. Of course, with the advances of technology, the eyes can be digitally enhanced or the actors could wear colored contacts. I have read the book numerous times and really hope that the movie is just as good. The nit-picky details are what makes the novel spectacular. In addition, Fiona and Rosemary have red hair, which is a very important detail. Jonas first experience of color is Fiona’s fiery red hair. The introduction of color will dramatically change the way Jonas thinks about the society in which he lives in.
In all, I believe the cast to be strong. Mixing mostly unknown actors with very well-known actors will generate media and create a wider audience. Of course, the book alone already has a wide fan base. Bridges and Streep will bring depth and strength to the movie. I have not seen Holmes portray someone who is not humble, but I do believe she will do justice to the character of the mother. I have only seen Skarsgård play a vampire and it will be interesting to see a more nurturing side of him. The only concern that I have concerns the casting of Taylor Swift. The role of Rosemary, a twelve year old, is mentioned a few times throughout the novel, yet her character is essential. Swift has not had much acting experience and the level of emotion needed to portray Rosemary is crucial. I do look forward to seeing the outcome of the movie and hope that justice is served.