|Meryl Streep as Anjelica Huston.|
The time is the distant future, when everything, including trees, sky and people, comes in black, white and shades of grey since color must have been deemed too stimulating and so was eliminated eons ago. Ditto music, love, snow and dancing. There are neither people of color nor senior citizens. War is also non-existent, as are pain, sorrow and comfortable furniture. Everyone lives in sterile houses designed by the descendants of Frank Lloyd Wright and eats TV dinners from the fifties.
Nobody is fat, which is nice, and everyone apologizes for the slightest infraction. Precision of language is quite important, which I found refreshing. Also, lying is against the Rules, another nice feature. I was quite taken with their little Utopia, actually: No war, no killing, what's not to like? Except there is killing, and on a daily basis as it turns out, done for the Good of the Community. Twins are not allowed, and that's all I will say about that.
The plot is so full of holes that it's fun to watch, as Old Man Bridges turns over all the forbidden memories from the past to the new kid who was chosen to be the "Receiver of Memory" at a Big Ceremony where everyone claps using only one hand on their thigh instead of two hands the way we do it now. Apparently one-handed thigh clapping is one of the ways Man will evolve. Doesn't that tell you all you need to know? But stick around, since at the end when the credits roll there is a fabulous song playing called "Ordinary Human" by One Republic. Or else skip the movie and find the song on YouTube. And read the book, it's great.