In a piece posted today (8.15), HuffPost contributor and Columbia film professor Annette Insdorf has linked Philip Noyce‘s The Giver and Victor Fleming‘s The Wizard of Oz. Both transition from black-and-white into color. Both feature wicked witches (Meryl Streep‘s bitch elder, Margaret Hamilton‘s Wicked With of the West) with the power to appear unexpectedly. Both title characters are mysterious older guys who may (or may not be) agents of salvation. Both are about adolescent rites of passage such as defying authority. Jonas’s journey enacts the yearning articulated in “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, flying “over the chimney tops” to the forbidden “Elsewhere” of The Giver, moving ever closer to what resembles a traditional home. Favorite passage: “Perhaps both films share a questioning of what ‘home’ means. Salman Rushdie perceptively proposed that The Wizard of Oz is not about ‘there’s no place like home’ but the dream of leaving, the celebration of escape. As in that ‘road movie’ of 1939, Jonas must enact the combined courage, brains and heart to abandon the placid familiar for the dangerous unknown.” Second favorite passage: “In a very American tradition, The Giver valorizes memory and passion above serenity and predictability.” You know who will really like The Giver? Rand Paul, and that’s in no way a putdown.