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Movie review - The Lovely Bones

Updated on January 20, 2011

This film directed by Peter Jackson is quite surreal, and you won’t leave with dry eyes. It is based on the book ‘The Lovely Bones’ written by Alice Sebold in 2002. It is about 14-year old Susie Salmon, who gets murdered by an eccentric neighbour. The film shows us how her family deals with her disappearance. And also how she deals with being dead. From somewhere in between life and the after-life Susie is trying to connect with her family and tries to point them in the direction of her killer, who thinks he got away with her murder. Finally her sister seems to catch on. Peter Jackson’s lively imagination created an after-life world that I would like to live in, making this film spectacular to watch.

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Susie Salmon is played by the young actress Saoirse Ronan, and she does a really great job. She makes you very sympathetic for Susie, and all the opportunities in life she loses by dying, in particular missing out on kissing Ray (Reece Ritchie), her first love. Her parents are portrayed by Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz. Mark plays the father losing his little girl and getting obsessed with finding the killer, very touching. Her mother tries to move on, but does not get the support she needs from her husband. Then a fabulous grandmother, in the form of Susan Sarandon, moves in to try and keep the family together. Meanwhile we get some insight on the killer through Susie’s eyes. The killer is played by Stanley Tucci, and is truly creepy. I barely recognized him at first. I’ve never seen Tucci in a role quite like this one, but he pulls it off effortlessly.

The setting is in a suburban area in the 70s. The outfits and the way the house is decorated is amazing (I love the 70s!). The world Suzie lives in is beyond anything you could imagine. The scenery is spectacular, with high mountains, green valleys, massive boats in even bigger glass bottles sailing the sea, and trees made out of birds. Peter Jackson likes to make his movies very appealing to the eye, and created an unreal world that looks very realistic, and also sets the mood of the movie.

This movie is cleverly constructed, although at times you want the pace to move a little faster. Jackson lingers on some less important details for too long every now and then. Be sure to have some tissues handy though. The grieving family, and the lonely Susie will not leave you untouched, and many people in the cinema with me were bawling their eyes out, as was I.

Buy the book - The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones trailer


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