Review: The Lovely Bones
If anyone could adapt a book and make it into a film, I thought Peter Jackson would be the one to do it. The Lord of the Rings trilogy were some of the best adaptations of books to films I've ever seen (Brokeback Mountain being the best) So when I heard Jackson took on the role of director for Alice Seibold's 'The Lovely Bones'. I was pretty excited. I remember way back in pre-production when Dakota Fanning was rumoured to play Susie. That was fine with me, I do love Dakota but when I saw she was replaced with Soairse Ronan I got even more excited. This girl was brilliant in 'Atonement'. They add Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Rachel Weiz and I was set. That's a great cast.
The Lovely Bones follows Susie Salmon. She's 14 years old, and is murdered by her neighbor Mr. Harvey (Stanley Tucci) She watches over her family from heaven and watches her parents (Wahlberg, Weiz) struggle to cope, and her little sister Lindsey (Rose MvIver) grow up to be the woman that Susie will never be.
This is by no means a bad film, they negativity surprised me. Yes, I agree that Jackson focused way more on the CGI rather then the actual story, and that is regrettable. The film doesn't show Susie's murder on screen (she's raped, stabbed to death and cut up in the book) and it's not necessarily the bad thing. Sometimes its better to leave it up to the imagination of the viewer. The film only hints that she was raped, but the sexuality was a big part of the book that the film left out. Susie wanted to be a woman, she didn't want her only experience to be her murder. I thought they could've at least spent more time on Susie's feelings and longing to grow up like they did in the book. The ending is slightly altered, but still works.
The scenes of 'The in between' are visually stunning, though you may feel as if your watching someone else's acid trip at times. But they obviously speant a lot of time on them. They work. The acting is absolutely top notch. After watching the SAG awards last night and seeing Sandra Bolluck pick up the Best Actress trophy when Ronan wasn't even nominated is an absolute joke. Saoirse Ronan in my opinion has nearly unseated Dakota Fanning as the best young actress around, with her recent BAFTA nom we can still hold out for an Oscar nom, right? Stanley Tucci is absolutely deserving for all his acclaim for playing Mr. Harvey. He's creepy, he's unsettling, the scene in the underground fort with Susie is one of the most uncomfortable things I've watched in a long time. Wahlberg is great as a grieving dad, he's seriously underrated for this film. I'm very impressed with Rose McIver as well, especially once I realized that the actress playing Lindsey from 11-19 is actually 19 years old.
It's not as good as a book, but that's not a huge surprise. I expected more, but still enjoyed what I got. It was a touching, tear jerking film. It had funny moments, it had it's thriller moments. It's shot beautifully, even if they should've focused more on the emotion.
Recommended: Yes 4/5 stars.
Memorable Quote: "Who am I now"? "The Dead Girl" "The Missing Girl" I'm nothing now because of him." - Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan)