Saoirse Ronan Is Heavenly In The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones, based on the 2002 novel written by Alice Sebold, tells the astonishing, but at the same time brutal story of a young girl whose life is ended before she has the opportunity to experience her first kiss.

The movie begins with a prominent proclamation. “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” After her murder, Susie watches from the “in between” (a kind of state that is awkward to describe but is a fantastical hereafter) while her family struggles emotionally with her death.

The film creates a heaven of strange dreamlike landscapes in which Susie and her imaginary dead peers engage. At times it appears that the relationships here create an emotional distress while unrealistically downplaying the importance of Susie’s death to her mother Abigail (Rachel Weisz), her father Jack (Mark Wahlberg) and her sister Lindsey (Rose McIver). Each are dealing with Susie’s loss in their own manner, which is not uncharacteristic of people who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

Unlike the novel, which is filled with both horror and beauty at the same time, the movie lacks the depth of the obviously horrific scenes, relying instead on more scenic beautiful unnatural scenarios.

The film’s young star, Saoirse Ronan, continues to demonstrates star potential and holds true to her character. She is presented as a sweet teenager while at the same time presenting her character as a wise voyeur. Susie must come to terms with her own death if she and her family are to find some peace.

Mr. George Harvey, (Stanley Tucci) as Susie’s murderer, is extremely convincing in the role, especially in the scene where he convinces Susie to enter his underground territory in the field where she is eventually murdered. The anxiety and tension are heightened when Susie’s sister Lindsay breaks into Mr. Harvey’s house, in a scene that left me sitting on the edge of my seat. As Susie’s parents, both Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg portray successful parents who are grieving the loss of their daughter in their own way.

Susie observes her father become increasingly obsessed with finding his daughter’s murderer, becoming overly involved to the point of neurosis, culminating in a conflict with the local authorities. But I found his motives consistent with how any concerned parent would behave. It is not uncommon to say that, if you have read the novel, the movie would not compare. Having read the novel myself, there appears to be a number of events that aren’t quite tied together in the film.

Despite the fact that the movie has many interesting scenes, some were often presented as abstract concepts which damaged the most innocent and tender aspects of the novel. The novel shows the conquest of good over evil, and the idea of life after death and the transformations that come about after the loss of a loved one. By contrast, I found the overuse of special effects in the movie adversley affected the significance of the themes that were such an important part of the novel.

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