Nationally syndicated columnist and Washington Post op-ed contributor Michael Gerson has written an impression of Phillip Noyce‘s The Giver (Weinstein Co., 8.15), which he recently saw. He calls it an “updated but respectful re-telling” of Lois Lowry’s slim 1993 book about totalitarianism, euthanasia, suicide, sexual awakening and infanticide, and “clearly the labor of someone’s love.” He also calls it “an odd candidate for a blockbuster,” as much of what happens in the book and the film is “an interior moral struggle.” But he predicts it will “provoke political commentary” as The Giver‘s main point is that pain is a difficult but necessary component in any meaningful life as “the very things that make us vulnerable to loss — choice, emotion, desire — also make us human.” This, says Gerson, is “fairly serious stuff for a summertime movie. But it is precisely what causes Lowry’s book to transcend the genre of teen literature it created.”