The Lovely Bones Movie
First and foremost I would like to say that I read the book The lovely Bones a couple of years ago and found it to be heart wrenching and an amazing masterpiece of a story. The book is about a young 14 year old girl who is murdered by a creepy neighbor and she narrates from heaven her thoughts on life, death and how her family is coping with her death. She is also trying to bring clues to her family about who murdered her. The murder itself makes you feel incensed because the girl, her name is Susie Salmon played by (Saoirse Ronan) is just becoming a young woman and she is only just finding the pleasure of having crushes, going to the mall with friends and getting into photography which plays a key role in finding the murderer in the book.
My thoughts are if you haven’t seen the movie, then read the book first because there is so many things lost in the movie that you will find in the book. Of course books are almost always better and this movie fails so miserably compared to the book. The book goes into so much detail and takes you into the direction that the author wants you to go, you get the sense of how much time has passed and Susie narrates the story from heaven so well. The description that she gives of heaven is also so fascinating and intriguing that you get lost in the book.
The movie done by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, but they go overboard in trying to represent heaven, and fall short. The cinematography is fantastic in the film, especially when you take into account the thought that went into describing a young girl in-between heaven and Earth, but what falls short is the story line. It just doesn’t match up to the book and it almost seems like a totally different story after all is said and done.
Saoirse Ronan is definitely the star of the movie and without her it would have been a total disaster. She played her part better than any actor out there today in her age range. I believe that she has a brilliant future ahead of her in spite of this movie.
Stanley Tucci does a fine job as the creepy neighbor and you almost know from the get go that it is him. Rachel Weisz plays the mother who seems very disconnected to all her children. And Mark Wahlberg plays the father, and honestly I don’t know how they did it but they managed to coax a convincing performance from him, which must have been hard to do since he is almost robotic in most of his movies and you can imagine him reading cue cards in most flicks that I have seen him in. Yes he is easy on the eyes, but in most movies he makes me cringe. This was his best performance to date in my opinion.
Susan Sarandon is also in the movie in a small part as the grandmother, she is pretty forgettable in this movie and honestly doesn’t offer anything to the plot of the movie or to any of the scenes. Her performance is irrelevant to say the least.
There is so much promise in this movie, especially for those that read the book, watching all the retro clothes and David Cassidy posters on her bedroom wall was a nice touch to the film but still wasn’t enough to save the film. I wish that I could recommend it more but I definitely recommend the book instead, you will not be sorry. And who knows, this is just my opinion, you may like the movie, I am just not as forgiving and tolerant about taking certain liberties with movies. I definitely think that Alice Sebold, the author of Lovely Bones is probably very disappointed as well. If I had written this book, I would have felt so disappointed.