The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
July 7, 2017 2:56 AM - Subscribe

A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie. Sure, it might seem like just another zombie movie, but this time with kids, instead it delves into complex issues like race, privilege, culture, immigration and especially biology. Also, Glenn Close, and an amazing first performance by Sennia Nanua, as the gifted girl.

Available through Amazon Prime:
posted by Stanczyk (10 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Melanie: Then why should it be us who die for you?

So she doesn't. I want more films like this.
posted by jojo and the benjamins at 7:48 AM on July 7, 2017 [9 favorites]

I wonder why they changed the lead up to Gallagher's death from the book ... it lead to behavior by Melanie that I thought was out of character (the killing of the feral child leader).

I did appreciate them showing the other children from the facility with the feral city children attending class at the end.

Overall I liked it and the actress who played Melanie (Sennia Nanua) was excellent.
posted by Julnyes at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2017

I just saw this a few nights ago and loved it with the exception of the obviously CGI blood squibs, but the moody overgrown city scenes where superb.
posted by The Whelk at 12:45 PM on July 7, 2017

I was so happy with this adaptation of the book, and if you haven't read it, I cannot recommend it enough. It's also a fantastic audiobook as well.

A few key scenes that really touched me were preserved or re-adapted very well in visual form, particularly the nearly drunken torpor that Melanie feels after feeding, or the orgiastic joy on her face when Miss Justineau strokes her head. Masterfully shown, rather than narrated.

Still, the writing is peerless and utterly original. It's one of those books where you want to underline one passage, then another, but you give up because it'd be 80% of the book by the end.

Not sure if this really came through in the movie adaptation, but Sgt. Parks mentioned his wife was pregnant when the plague let loose... one reason he rescued the half-zombie babies is because he imagined one might be his own daughter and somehow survived.

In the book, it's clear that he thought she'd have looked like Melanie, had she lived.

Even though I knew was was coming, I had to hide my eyes during Gallagher's "eating junk food in the feral kids' shop trap" scene. Dear god, how horrific!

Amazing casting as well. I know there's been a ton of discussion online about the race-reversal in Melanie and Miss Justineau for the film adaptation, but I feel subverting the "white savior" trope here was very nicely done.

As always, this really is a great love story between a little girl and her heroic teacher. There will never be another Miss Justineau, and Melanie was and still remains perhaps the true first of her kind. Also, that soundtrack! Just heartbreaking, and the absolute inverse of what people expect when they hear the words "zombie film." One of the best movies I saw last year, honestly -- I'm only sorry it didn't get much of a theater release here in the States.

I'm tucking into The Boy On the Bridge very soon, which is set in the same world as GWATG. Cannot wait!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:55 PM on July 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Not my genre of book or movie usually, but I really enjoyed the book and I thought the movie adaptation was great, they did a great job. The whole jaw-chomping thing completely freaked me out.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 PM on July 7, 2017

I also enjoyed both film and book. Parts of the film were made in and around Birmingham and one of the locations was a building a few miles down the road from us, which had been an office block that had shut down about 20 years ago and so had had plenty of time to go back to nature.

The Boy on the Bridge is great - I had it on my Kindle for weeks without starting it as I was convinced that it just couldn't bring anything to the perfect self-contained world of TGWATG, and of course it could. I think I was put off by it being a prequel but that turned out not to matter when I read it.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 3:36 PM on July 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Excellent film that I partner and I both enjoyed thoroughly.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:41 PM on July 9, 2017

I didn't know there was another book set in this world! Thanks for the info.
posted by Julnyes at 10:43 AM on July 11, 2017

Just watched this yesterday and I'm pretty sure I dreamed about it last night. "Then why should it be us who die for you" was just so perfect. I want more of this too. The actor playing Melanie was wonderful. So much defiance and ...certainty. Can anyone remember how long Ms. Justineau can live in that pod? The scene where she goes to touch Melanie, I know they're zombie kids but that they must still yearn for affection, really resonated in some way.

I'm not part zombie. I swear.
posted by mokeydraws at 11:35 AM on July 16, 2017

I watched this only because my horror/apocalyptic wife wanted to see it. Had I known before it was based on a Mike Carey book I might have been more easily convinced. But yes, so devastating and the delivery of that line was perfect.

The zombie craze seems to be dying (thank goddess) but this was proof that you can take a tired trope and make something new, something meaningful, out of it. Thumbs up!
posted by Ber at 2:01 AM on February 9, 2019

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