The Lovely Bones

As you probably already know, this movie (and the novel on which it is based) is narrated by a dead girl who was brutally murdered by a serial killer. She observes the effect her disappearance and presumed death has on her family and other loved ones. Anyone who attends this film can count on being manipulated by the masters:
  • Alice Sebold, upon whose only published novel this movie is based.
  • Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings" franchise), master of Fantasy, who modified the book in order to obtain a PG13 rating: He did NOT make us watch the murder.
  • Fran Walsh (screenwriter on the "Ring" movies, "King Kong" 2005,) who collaborates with her husband of over 20 years, Peter Jackson.

They bring us tension, horror, repugnance, sorrow, fantastical views of the afterlife and someone to root for. In fact, I can't remember when I have ever heard such a vocal response from a screening audience, who welcomed relief from one of the most tension-filed scenes with shouts and applause.

The cast consists of:

  • Saiorse Ronan ("Atonement" and "City of Ember") pronounces her name "Sur' shuh." Born in New York and reared in Ireland, she speaks "American" perfectly.
  • Mark Wahlburg ("The Italian Job" 2003 and "The Departed"), who plays the father of the murdered girl. His family life erodes as he experiences grief, frustration and rage.
  • Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener" and "Definitely, Maybe") is our heroine's grieving mother, struggling to reclaim some semblance of normalcy for her family.
  • Stanley Tucci ("Julie and Julia" and "The Devil Wears Prada") plays the chillingly methodical murderer. This is not a spoiler, unlike the police, we know from the beginning who did it.
  • Rose McIver (LOTS of TV) plays the sister of the murdered girl; she quickly claims a central role.

Director Jackson recycles the islands floating in the sky, a la "Avatar," as part of his lyrical vision of the afterlife, along with other flights of fancy.

I can't say if you have read the bestseller you are guaranteed to love or hate this film, because I refused to read the book. ...Sorry...