When it comes to icons of Hollywood, Jeff Bridges, with his raw charisma and seasoned acting chops, undoubtedly makes the list. In a career spanning decades, Bridges has taken on roles that linger long in memory, etching moments of cinematic magic. And the dude is still kicking today. Which is why it’s cool to see him in The Giver definitely streaming now on Netflix.
This dystopian tale sees Bridges not only as a key character but also as a driving force behind the film’s creation. If you’re looking for a deep dive into a world where emotions and memories are regulated commodities, then this Jeff Bridges movie definitely will do the trick.
The Giver, based on the beloved young adult novel by Lois Lowry, paints a picture of a future society that has traded depth of feeling and memory for the illusion of peace and simplicity.
The Giver is based on the young adult novel by Lois Lowry
In this colorless, seemingly utopian world, all pain, war, and emotions have been eradicated. Every aspect of life is controlled, from the jobs citizens will hold to their family units, ensuring that there’s no room for chaos or unpredictability.
In the heart of this society stands the Receiver of Memory, a sole individual entrusted with holding onto the past. Jeff Bridges, with his signature gravitas, brings to life the current Receiver, who’s tasked with passing on the world’s memories to the next appointed individual.
Enter Jonas, played by the talented Brenton Thwaites, a young boy chosen to inherit the position and its accompanying emotional weight. As Jonas undergoes the process, he’s exposed to an array of emotions, from the joy of sled rides to the horrors of war, revealing the true cost of his society’s supposed tranquillity.
Guiding Jonas through this turbulent journey, Jeff Bridges’ character, later dubbed The Giver, becomes a mentor and beacon of truth, challenging Jonas to question the very fabric of their existence.
The duo is complemented by a remarkable cast including Meryl Streep as the Chief Elder, the leader of the community with a staunch belief in the system, and Katie Holmes and Alexander Skarsgård as Jonas’s assigned parents, figures that exemplify the society’s detached demeanor.
Odeya Rush plays Fiona, Jonas’s interest, and a symbol of the natural human connections that the community suppresses.
Director Phillip Noyce weaves this intricate tale, touching on profound themes of memory, individuality, and the essence of humanity. Throughout The Giver, Jeff Bridges acts as the linchpin, embodying the pain of the past and the hope for a more genuine future, navigating Jonas and the audience through the stark contrast between the real and the artificially manufactured.
The film not only poses challenging questions about society and morality but also showcases the power of human connection and the importance of preserving our collective history.
The Reception To Jeff Bridges And The Giver
The Giver arrived in theaters with high expectations, thanks to the cherished status of Lois Lowry’s source material. From a box office standpoint, the film enjoyed moderate success.
The Giver released in August 2014, it grossed around $67 million globally against a production budget of approximately $25 million
Released in August 2014, it grossed around $67 million globally against a production budget of approximately $25 million, proving that audiences were curious about this cinematic adaptation of a much-loved novel.
Critically, however, The Giver garnered a mixed reception. On one hand, some lauded the film for its performances, particularly that of Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. The dystopian narrative, rich with thought-provoking themes, also earned praise from several quarters.
On the flip side, many critics felt that the film didn’t capture the full depth and nuances of the book, leading to challenges in fully conveying the story’s emotional weight. There were also concerns about the film’s pacing and certain changes made in adapting the story for the big screen. It’s sitting at a paltry 35 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
From a sci-fi and fantasy perspective, this isn’t the only Jeff Bridges movie available on Netflix. He also has The Seventh Son going there and that one has performed well picking up some new audiences in recent months. There is still something to be said for giving The Giver a second chance too with Bridges worth the price of the stream.