Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Giver vs. Miss Meadows

Nothing keeps Steampunk Granny down and out, except a nasty, nasty cold. All my plans for a fun filled beautiful summer day derailed, I spent my time on my sofa alternating between long bouts of a drug induced slumber (prescribed) and watching films. Luckily, I was able to watch two never before seen (by me) films. They were both a pleasant surprise as I had never seen upcoming trailers for either one. Did they help poor Granny forget her misery?

The Giver

This 2014 film was directed by Phillip Noyce and was based on the 1993 novel of the same name by Lois Lowry. It stared Brenton Thwaites, Odeya Rush, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and, to my surprise, True Blood’s very own Viking vampire Alexander Skarsgard. Yeah Team Eric!

In the not too distant future, the survivors of an unnamed disaster are resettled in communities where all past memories have been removed and the people drugged in order to make them docile. Everyone is taught proper manners and speech and all conflict is forbidden. From the moment of birth, a person’s life is planned out for them. Teenagers are assigned to lifelong careers on the day of graduation. Only one person holds all the memories and records of what life was like before the “The Ruin” and now he must take in a new apprentice to train.

Not everything is as peachy fine as you would expect in such a hassle free Utopia, and not everyone conforms. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is one of these non-conformists. Jonas has been assigned the job of Receiver of Memories. He is to learn about all past memories from The Giver (Jeff Bridges). People who disobey or infants that fail to thrive are sent to Elsewhere.
As Jonas learns about emotions, good and bad, his father (Alexander Skarsgard) takes pity on a baby who is failing to thrive and brings the infant home with the hopes of a second chance. If the baby does not thrive, he will be killed. Jonas, against the rules, shares what he’s learned about emotions with the baby boy and the girl that he loves, Fiona (Odeya Rush).


Jonas has one chance to save the baby that he bonded with, but it means his traveling into dangerous territory. Will Jonas succeed? Will Fiona be executed? You can catch this little gem on Demand.
Miss Meadows

This is a 2014 film directed by Karen Leigh Hopkins and staring Katie Holmes, James Badge Dale, Callan Mulvey and Stephen Bishop.


This is a vigilante film with a twist. Katie Holmes plays the part of Miss Mary Meadows, a first-grade teacher who is the pinnacle of prim and proper. Miss Meadows is loved by everyone in town. She is soft spoken and generally interested in what goes on in her neighborhood and with her students. Miss Meadows wears 50’s style clothing, white gloves and tap shoes and, she is a dutiful daughter who calls her mother every day.
When bad people begin to pile up in the local morgue, the sheriff (James Badge Dale) becomes suspicious of, but also falls in love with the teacher. Their one time sexual encounter leaves our teacher pregnant. Miss Meadows becomes alarmed when an ex-con moves into her neighborhood. She starts tracking Skylar’s (Callan Mulvey) movements to make sure no harm will come to her students.

As the sheriff and deputies try to trace the gun that is used in all the killings not knowing that the weapon is in Miss Meadows’ stylish purse, we learn of the events that led the teacher to take the law into her own hands.


I think you should definitely see this film for the surprise ending. Katie Holmes, who is now sans Tom Cruise, was amazing as Miss Meadows and, I’m happy that I got to see her in back to back films.
As to my question, did the films help me forget the misery of my nasty cold? Yes! If you have to be stuck in the house, these two films definitely did the job, but you don't have to be sick to watch them. Both get a four star **** rating from me.


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