“The Giver” hits theaters this weekend, and if you’re still on the fence about seeing it, these five clips probably won't seal the deal. At first, we were optimistic about Phillip Noyce’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s 1993 pre-YA novel, in light of the casting of producer-star Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep inspiring a degree of confidence . But each time we get a closer look, the film looks more and more like a paint-by-numbers dystopian teen disgrace.
The most interesting morsel here is a peek at Taylor Swift in her small role as a former “receiver” who now only exists in memory. Appropriately, her performance entails playing music and she appears to be a convincing, unsettling presence on screen. Unfortunately, Streep’s character seems consigned to villainhood with a capital V, too obviously controlling and malevolent and lacking nuance. There’s also an accidentally humorous lip-lock and shots of Katie Holmes delivering lines flatly.
We’ll hold off putting the final nail in the coffin until we see it, only thanks to the strength of the source material and Bridge’s admirable decades-long dedication to the project. [Punch Drunk Critics]