6:45 p.m. for popcorn; movie starts at 7:00 p.m.
The Giver is based on one of the most popular youth and young adult novels of the past 25 years — Lois Lowry’s 1993 Newbery Award-winning book of the same name. This film has been recommended by Archbishop Chaput, Bishop Barron, and Catholic film reviewer Sister Helena Burns.
The story portrays a tightly controlled society of the future that runs on “Sameness,” where memories and strong emotions are discouraged, conscience is virtually unknown, and defective infants, the elderly and dissenters are methodically sent to “Elsewhere” — in other words, killed. One young man, chosen by the community to train as its “Receiver of Memories,” is repelled by the secrets at the heart of the utopia. He sets in motion an awakening the human spirit. This is a wonderful film. Nothing in the movie version of The Giver will offend a family. Just the opposite. It’s an intelligent, absorbing, beautifully crafted film everyone should see. This is a major production of a great story, well above standard “family” fare in quality, rendered by an excellent cast including Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift and others. It shouldn’t be missed.
– Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
What the story suggests, quite rightly, is that suppression of the good news of the Incarnation is in fact what conduces to dysfunctional and dangerous totalitarianism. The source of the greatest suffering throughout human history is the attempt to deal with original sin on our own, through our political, economic, military, or cultural efforts… The key to joy at the personal level and justice at the societal level is in fact the conviction that God has dealt with original sin, by taking it on himself and suffering with us and for us. This belief allows us to embrace the world in both its beauty and its tragedy, for we see salvation as God’s project, not our own… I can’t help but think that the recovery of this lost memory—so key to the authentic renewal of contemporary society—is what The Giver is finally about. – Bishop Robert Barron