Genres: Drama, Kids/Family, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller and Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hrs. 19 min. Release Date: December 11th, 2009 (limited); January 15th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images, and some language.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures
Directed by: Peter Jackson
JJ Rating: C
Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), like the fish, is an average little girl with average wants and desires. She loves her family and her life. All it takes is one mistake and then that’s the end. So of course Susie makes such a mistake and is murdered. The rest of the story has her in a bizarre kind of limbo because she was holding on to her former life while ignoring her newly acquired one. The Lovely Bones.
I was expecting a visual wonder. After seeing Avatar one is now graced with what is possible via CGI and therefore there’s a big margin for disappointment. There are a lot of visually grand things in The Lovely Bones, but it was too soft hitting for the subject matter that was involved. Things she sees in this ‘inbetween’ correlates with what is actually going on with her family, but it’s not as visually grand as it can be. The film was soft-pedaling the information from the book into easily absorbed ideas and it shouldn’t have been easy. It should have been difficult, painful and devastating to watch.
The Lovely Bones had a great thrilling section and it was between the creepy, creepy, creepy Stanley Tucci and Rose McIver. Tucci is the creepy neighbor and McIver is the sister to the murdered girl. She’s looking for evidence in the house and does so with clever precision, but when he comes home unexpectedly every movement in an old creek sounding house matters. That was the best scene in the entire film. Creepy revelations happen there and edge of seat hurry get out feelings rev up.
Tucci was the standout. They gave him weird hair and bizarre blue eyes. He was so unnerving. Everything about him was vile. He was perfect. I don’t know if one wants to be perfect in such a role, but he was creep factor 10. Every time the title of this film rolls off someone’s lips I’ll be thinking of him. Every scene he is in he makes cringe worthy. No one else was remotely memorable like him. He took what could have just been a made for TV movie and gave it big motion picture life…well just enough.
Without totally delving too much into the end of the film The Lovely Bones seemed too want to channel Ghost and it was not working. The camera work was a little too foreshadowing because I figured out what was going to happen based on how it panned. I wished it was just stationary and the end would have been a little more rewarding. Even though it would have been better I think the over all end of the film was pretty good. It’s everything that’s before it that sort of has this ho-hum feel; this teenager mumbling whatever feel.
The Lovely Bones lacked emotional connection, importance and depth. Its visual aspect was ok but based on who the director is, Peter Jackson, it was not good enough. Though I did not read the book I can only guess how much was altered to have it transform into this movie and how normally the sacrifices are not for the greater good. I had been looking forward to seeing this movie but with the reports from Rottentomatoes.com looking grim when it was released early December I tapered my desire. It was a good thing or else I would have been really disappointed, more than I actually am. It was not worth seeing except to be creeped out by Tucci.; makes me feel violated when I think of his character. Freaky.