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Above is the new trailer for The Giver, which introduces the premise in a pretty interesting way. As befitting the source material, the beloved Lois Lowry book, the trailer actually begins in black and white. Just the very act of changing the colors available to the audience conveys the escalating action. Young Jonas opens up a new world of possibilities, but it's also one filled with stress and danger.
The trailer, which comes to us via Yahoo!, emphasizes the dystopian future at the core of the story, introducing us to the "communities" in stark black and white, including the studio logos. It's not hard to imagine many filmgoers will assume that, something is broken with the screen while seated in the theater watching this clip. Don't correct them, just let them stew, moan, and complain, understanding that some people just get really ratty at the thought of anything being in monochrome.The initial feeling in this trailer for The Giver is that this is something more serene, more thoughtful than the earlier spots for the film.
But then the new trailer goes, "Woo-hah, I got you all in check!" and before you can ask why it's quoting nineties-era Busta Rhymes and the color drops into the frame. And here comes the Clint Mansell, with "Lux Æterna" blasting on the soundtrack. It's that old trailer chestnut, returning from what feels like a couple of years of a break! Hey, why don't they dust off "Bishop's Countdown" or "Come See Paradise" while they're at it? I dearly miss the age where one music score provided the soundtrack to ten trailers at a time.
That's Brenton Thwaites in the lead as Jonas. Audiences are about to catch him in the unique sci-fi thriller The Signal (in theaters next week), but this is his first shot at the big time. You also get the conflict between what feels like Angry Dean Meryl Streep and Cool Uncle Jeff Bridges - one that probably fuels more than a few debates. This seems much more action-intensive than the book, a school-issued-you'd-better-read-this classic that found strength in the inquisition of modern life. The book felt singular, curious, light on action and heavy on philosophy. This honestly looks like Divergent.
Much of the novel's strengths came from the ambiguity of the concept as well, with the elders of the community representing safety and comfort, forcing Jonas to make the tough decision and forgo a simple lifestyle. This trailer, though, eliminates the difficulty of that choice: these dudes be evil, yo. Did you not hear the Clint Mansell??
The Giver, which also stars Taylor Swift, Katie Holmes and Alexander Sarsgaard, sees release August 15th.