HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Lovely Bones, The Prayer For The DeadBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli, Saoirse Ronan, Rose McIver, Christian Thomas Ashdale, Reece Ritchie, Carolyn Dando, Nikki SooHoo, Andrew James Allen, Jake Abel, Amanda Michalka, Thomas McCarthy
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Fantasy
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) remembers when she was a little girl, and was captivated by the snowglobe that she owned which contained a little figure of a penguin; she was entranced by the thought of it trapped forever in its own perfect world. When she was older, she saved her brother from choking on a twig by dragging his body into the family car when her parents were out and driving him to the hospital - it's a miracle she didn't get into an accident and her grandmother (Susan Sarandon) told her she had done such a good deed that she would live a long and fruitful life in return, as it was the way of the world. But when she was fourteen, Susie was murdered...

It's safe to say that Peter Jackson did not receive the kind of acclaim for his film version of The Lovely Bones that the original author Alice Sebold had when it was published. In fact, for those who had read it the reaction was one of utter disdain, as if he had been so caught up in his cinematic box of tricks that he had lost sight of his story and what had made it affect so many readers. Yet while it's true there was little sense that the director had artisitcally secured a handle on his production, it was unfair to pin that solely on the computer effects that peppered the narrative, as they didn't really dominate, even if they did stick in audience's minds as being the worst aspect.

But depictions of the afterlife, which is where Susie narrates from, have always been very much in the eye of the beholder, and Jackson adopted a painterly approach that was appropriately unreal. So Susie makes her way through a variety of artificial-looking landscapes depicting different seasons and sometimes over literal representations of what has happened to her before she arrived there, along with pointers to what will occur to those she has left behind. Though these may be vivid and never convincing - but what would be? - there are bigger problems with this than its endeavours to give its dead heroine peace through the wonders of technology, as the sequences set in the real world were no less troublesome.

At first it appears Jackson is reaching that uncertain balance between the sweetness of Susie's pre-murder life, where she is about to fall in love properly for the first time and the seeds of her career as a photographer are being sown, and the fact that we already know (as she has told us) that she will be killed soon. Yet still there is an unsteady idealisation of the character's life that never rings true, and after the terrible act that befalls her the film does not recover, no matter how often Ronan gazes off into the distance with a wistful yet meaningful expression on her face. It doesn't help that the killer is played by Stanley Tucci in a weirdly cartoonish manner, as if it was the movie's idea of what a serial murderer should be rather than anyone who seems authentic.

For example, look at the makeup job that Tucci is labouring under, the man's appearance simply screams creepy, another element of overemphasis that would see him arrested within nanoseconds rather than allowed to go about his business unimpeded. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz play the parents with almost nothing to work with, buffeted along by the plot without making much impression, leaving the acting honours to go to Sarandon going over the top as the grandmother and Rose McIver to turn Nancy Drew as the younger sister in another unpersuasive thread. On this evidence, it's hard to see how anyone thought The Lovely Bones would make a smooth transition to the screen, and you could argue that in trying to make dewey-eyed and palatable what should have been harrowing they were adopting a horrendously misjudged tack. As it plays out, the drama grows tedious as we await the killer's comeuppance, and even then that conclusion fails to satisfy with a silly coda. We can only be thankful it wasn't based on a real case. Music by Leo Abrahams and Brian Eno.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2017 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Jackson  (1961 - )

Hugely talented New Zealand director best known today for his Lord of the Rings adaptations. Started out making inventive, entertaining gore comedies like Bad Taste and Braindead, while his adult Muppet-spoof Meet the Feebles was a true one-off. Jackson's powerful murder drama Heavenly Creatures was his breakthrough as a more 'serious' filmmaker, and if horror comedy The Frighteners was a bit of a disappoinment, then his epic The Lord Of The Rings trilogy - Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King were often breathtaking interpretations of Tolkien's books. 2005's blockbuster King Kong saw Jackson finally realise his dream of updating his all-time favourite film, but literary adaptation The Lovely Bones won him little respect. In 2012 he returned to Middle Earth with the three-part epic The Hobbit and in 2018 directed acclaimed WWI doc They Shall Not Grow Old.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: