Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Lovely Bones

I enjoyed the book but therein lies the problem. If you've read the book, you will not appreciate the "in- between" as interpreted by director Peter Jackson. And if you haven't read the book, you still may not appreciate his vision for Susie Salmon's "in-between. The visuals are beautiful and surreal but they bog down the story and do nothing for Susie's heavenly narration of her murder and the family she leaves behind.

Susie's parents are played by Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg. They do an admirable job in roles that are underwritten for the screen. Susan Sarandon plays the grandmother in an over the top performance and Michael Imperioli is stereotyped as the detective in charge of the case. Susie's murderer is played by Stanley Tucci who gives a very creepy performance that was deemed Oscar worthy by his peers. Rose Mclver, as Susie's sister has the most tense scene in the film.

I have to save Saoirse Ronan for last, as Susie Salmon. Ms. Ronan is remarkable to watch. She was excellent in "Atonement" and once again shows acting maturity beyond her years. If not for her performance, the film would be unwatchable. She anchors the film and breathes life into this murdered young girl. She manages to rise above her scenes in the "in-between" and I look forward to seeing her work for years to come.

I give Mr. Jackson credit for tackling this novel. It's not an easy story to translate to the screen and while he tries hard, he just can't pull it off. This is a story you must interpret for yourself and for that reason, I recommend reading the book and take a pass on the film.

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