Alice Sebold's 'The Lovely Bones' tells the story of 14 year old Susie Salmon (yes, salmon like the fish) who is brutally raped and murdered by Mr Harvey, an elderly gentleman who lives in her neighborhood. It is told from Susie point of view as she watches from 'her heaven'. She watches as the police search for her body and her killer, and as her family struggle to come to terms with her death.
Sebold's gripping and heart wrenching story is not your average murder mystery. It gives the reader a new perspective on death and the after life. It implants the idea that heaven is something that is created by the person who has passed away. But the film like the novel does not have a typical 'happy ending'. She watches as her family live their lives without her and as her kill or the body are never found.
I found this film deeply saddening and at the same time incredibly up lifting, 'The Lovely Bones' is a visually stunning piece of cinema, a definite must see.
I read this book some time ago and loved it, so was reluctant to watch the film as they never seem to measure up. When I finally watched it, it didn't measure up but I thought is was an ok film.
It is the story of Susie Salmon, a girl who was murdered by a local paedophile at the age of 14, so it is heart wrenching stuff right from the start. The idea is that Susie is now up in heaven, watching her family back in earth. Her heaven is of her own creation and makes for some fantastic scenes, she sits and watches as he family falls apart following her death and she tries as she might to give them clues as to who her murderer is - a neighbour who has been investigated by the police but then left alone.
It is a sad tale but I have to say that this film somehow cheapens the story. When told in the book it has a totally different feel but the film misses many bits out and doesn't give you the same deep emotions.
Read the book instead, or read the book afterwards as reading it before spoils the film!
This film will have you in tears and there is no doubt about it! If it doesnt then gosh there is some emotional deficiency for there is no one I have known that has not seen this film without crying and especially if you have a daughter it will make you cry even more.!
Ok so Im not currently selling this but trust me it is a very beautiful yet barbaric film and yet it shows the love of a family and a fathers love to his dead daughter especially. It also states of the beauty that death is when after our death has taken place, especially if you are spiritual and how beautiful heaven and the afterlife can be, however it also states that the dead can communicate with us and do so through messages and through signs in everyday life.
The very best bit of this film is the moral of the story that justice comes in the end and everything comes full circle which is always the case in life. People who do wrong always get their come uppance and this could take anywhere between a few months to a few years if not longer but it always comes full circle.
I wasn't too sure what to expect from this film. Having read a lot of the book but not quite finishing it, I had a good idea of what the film was about and wondered how well they would adapt it. Parts of it have been changed slightly but what they have changed worked well. Mark Wahlberg played serious quite well even though I am a bigger fan of him when he is doing comedy parts.
The film itself was a little slow to start with but then it picked up and continued to hold my attention to the very end. I was amazed with the acting, directing and design of this film. I found myself crying and then at the same time feeling happy. This film is definitely not one to watch on your own or if your in a sad/ weepy mood as it is not going to help cheer you thats for sure!
I am defintitley a fan of Saoirse Ronan, excellent acting from her could really feel the emotions. Think we will be seeing a lot more of her in the furture! Susan Sarandon as Grandma was the perfect casting decision bringing in a bit a comedy to such a series film.
would definitely watch this film again ...
Star - Peter Jackson
Run Time - 129 minutes
Certificate - 12a
Genre - Fantasy
Awards - Oscar and BAFTA nominations
There is nothing quite like pedophilia to raise the nations ire, a crime worse than murder for most. When Dr Shipman 'put down' 150 pensioners over a twenty-five year period nobody seem to notice, but when little Madeline McCann went missing the whole world was shocked and their ears were pricked on where the story would go, middle-class parents having a child abducted almost unknown. No one bricked Shipman's prison van when it rolled out from the court house back entrance but most of the local housing estate will turn out with masonry and pushchairs if a beast is on trial. A pensioner dyeing means the kids get the house quicker whereas the murder of a child affects us all in a far deeper way, the emotional resonance of The Lovely Bones, director Peter Jackson's iridescent vision of Alice Sebold's celebrated book.
The book and film are narrated through the conduit of a 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970's Pennsylvania, who is murdered by a neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body. It's an ambitious film to try and capture such creative writing talent on screen and the critics universally panned it, which I felt rather unfair, perhaps the same critics who weren't so gushing at the monumental success that was Lord of the Rings, taking the opportunity to get back at Peter Jackson. I thought this was ok, for what it is. Maybe there were too many ambitious echoes of What Dreams May Come, the Robin Williams film on similar themes and equally derided for its ambitious take on heaven and earth.
Mark Wahlberg ... Jack Salmon
Rachel Weisz ... Abigail Salmon
Susan Sarandon ... Grandma Lynn
Stanley Tucci ... George Harvey
Michael Imperioli ... Len Fenerman
Saoirse Ronan ... Susie Salmon
Rose McIver ... Lindsey Salmon
Jake Abel ... Brian Nelson
Christian Thomas Ashdale ... Buckley Salmon
Carolyn Dando ... Ruth Connors
Nikki SooHoo ... Holly
Jack (Mark Wahlberg) and Abigail Salmon (Rachel Weisz) are parents to Susie (Saoirse Ronan) and her big sister Lindsay (Rose McIver). But as dusk turns to night in their leafy suburb 14-year-old Susie has not returned from school, distracted on the way home by a man called George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), who has tempted her into his den, the big bad wolf indeed. His intentions appear harmless at first but soon threatening, Susie never to return to her frantic parents.
Susie is dead but between heaven and hell, unable to go to the next world until her parents are at rest over the terrible fete that has befallen their daughter. Susie meets previous victims in the abstract world in-between, a 12-year-old girl called Nikki (SooHoo) trying to tell her to let go as she journeys across this strange world. Another distraction is Brian Nelson (Jake Abel), a boy she was falling for in the real world, another link she cat let go of.
Through a spiritual connection of love and courage only parent and child share she is determined to help her dad find the killer to protect more children, clues she left behind, including rolls of undeveloped film, slowly revealing her last movements and emotions to her father. The cops have long since given up on finding the killer but dad wont let go, his perseverance beginning to pay off when one of the developed reels reveals a suspect, a man who would know Susie's movements, a man who has killed before.
I didn't hate this because I got the point, simply one of loss and grief, a fairytale movie not worth getting all pretentious about, pulling at those simple but powerful emotions. The rest of the film and its fancy special-effects are irrelevant when you understand that. The critics seem to attack it because the visual side of things couldn't marry with the complex book and narrative, not an easy task. The main issue they had is the girl doesn't seem to be bothered about being all alone in the in-between. But as I say - it's a fairytale guys! It's not meant to be real.
Debutante Saoirse Ronan in the lead is fabulous and steels the movie, her dreamlike look ideal for the films ephemeral feel, the rest of the cast just scenery, the likes of Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz wasted here. Stanley Tucci as pedophile George Harvey earned an Oscar nomination for his efforts although in real life he would be the only suspect as Harvey is the cliché goggled eyed, salivating leery pedophile we all know from those public information films of the 1970s. I want to know why Phillip Seymour - Hoffman didn't get the role. He always gets that role.
The film is ok and the fact viewers scored it way above critics on the various websites suggests we saw it as the supernatural fairytale it was and the professionals saw it as something more profound. It was expensive to make with the fastidious Peter Jackson making sure it at least looks great ad runs too long but that a plus for me. I mean you can hardly criticize the director for not knowing what the plain between heaven and this world looks like.
For that $65 million budget it looks great and the public backed it to make a $90 million gross, perhaps someone like Tim Burton more suited to the project, giving it a lick of gothic paint the solution, more hell than haven. It's powerful enough when it needs to be and occasionally creepy and did the job it was supposed to do for me of showing the vulnerability of an innocent child in a predatory adult world that parents can't always protect their kids from as its often the parents who are also the predators. It is not meat to be Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal.
Imdb.com - 6.6 /10/0 (64,456 votes)
Metacritc.com - 42% critic's approval (web users 51%)
Rottentomatos.com - 29% critic's approval rating (web users 57%)
Leonardo Maltin's Film Year Book -2.5/4
Empire Magazine - 'The Lovely Bones does a fantastic job with revered, complex source material. As terrific on terra firma as it is audacious in its astral plane, it is doubtful we'll see a more imaginative, courageous film in 2010
The Guardian - 'Instead of a compelling nightmare, he has created a bland, girly-sparkly dream'.
The Daily Telegraph -'It's an extraordinary folly. A turkey, a pig's ear, a mad cow of a film. Its treatment of bereavement and familial grief is crazier than anything Lars Von Trier came up with in Antichrist'.
Chicago Sun Times - 'The Lovely Bones is a deplorable film with this message: If you're a 14-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer, you have a lot to look forward to'.
The Irish Times - 'The Lovely Bones is probably a much better idea for a book than it is a movie, but it's still a very good one, and those don't come along too often'.
Movie Times -'I never read the novel, so I have no idea if it is as tedious as Peter Jackson's movie'.
I watched this movie because I heard great things about Saoirse Ronan's acting and the synopsis did sound very intriguing but was it really?
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Suzie (Saoirse Ronan) is murdered by her neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). As she watches in a place between Heaven and Earth, she is conflicted as to whether she wants revenge on her murderer or the healing of her family, whether she can let go and go to heaven or linger on in a place of 'inbetween', of nothing.
As I thought this film was more of a murder mystery, I was a bit stunned to know who the killer was quite early on, but this film is not that. It is a bit more playful in terms of telling us, the audience, but hiding it from the characters. In a way, the film isn't even about finding the killer at all, as to how we deal with death.
The film was a bit slow to start and whilst we all knew she would die, we were just waiting for that moment to happen. From that point on, it was pretty melodramatic, at times abstract (when Suzie meets a friend Holly and they have a crazy time) but mostly a bit messy.
For those who have little or no idea what this film is about, they will feel lost and maybe even bored. But keep watching. The end is worth waiting for. Undeniably, there is a lot of 'fluff' in the middle but there are some beautiful artistic imagery to help lift the moods and perhaps make you go 'wow'.
Personally, I really liked how the real world influenced Suzie's inbetween... if only they played on that a bit more, and perhaps even how Suzie's world influences the real world. THAT would've made a good film on its own.
But when it did get towards the climax, it was so tense you could not keep your eyes off and you froze in anticipation of what would happen next. What happens is unexpected, perhaps a bit subdued, but all ties into the message of the film. Perhaps that is why it doesn't follow conventional movie plots in how things happen, but does it in another way, with meaning.
Saoirse Ronan- Suzie
Mark Wahlberg- Jack
Rachel Weisz- Abigail
Susan Sarandon- Grandma Lynn
Stanley Tucci- George Harvey
Rose McIver- Lindsey
Saoirse Ronan is definitely an actress to watch. Having been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Atonement, she is already hot property and was sublime in 'Hanna'. Here, she does an emotional girl well, especially in the scene where she is trapped. There is also a great supporting cast.
The film dips into too many genres that it is hard to focus on one- is it a thriller/a drama/a mystery? Whilst there is a good setup and good potential, the film lacks in finding that balance and turns out a bit messy- but some good artistry and a tense ending might just be enough to keep people interested to hear what the message this film has to offer.
Films are often hard to create from a book and usually they dont do the book justice and this film is no different. However having read the book and watched the film I must say i do like them both but prefer the book. The story is simple a young girl is murdered by her peodophile neighbour who then hides her body in a safe which in the end he dumps never to be found. We watch as susie is in the inbetween watching over her family as they try to uncover the truth. What I like about the film is that it has some really great moments such as the moment susie is in the underground chamber and realises that she has been stupid in following Mr Harvey in there, the look on her face and the soft tone of her voice really breaks your heart. But the main flaw in the story for me is that we never truly see just what mr harvey did to her in the chamber, we can only guess which when I first watched the film and at which point had not read the book really annoyed me , surely any writer with sense should have made this a must the the story line. it brings out the true deepth and evil of the character which im sorry to say no amount of good acting could produce.
Some of the actors cast in the roles i feel are wrongly cast. I think rachel weiz as a actress but she seemed somewhat emotionless in this film the idea that a mother would want to just forget about the whole horrible event and not seek out her daughters murderer is stupid. susan sarandons character of grandma lynn was great but lost and did not have a major role in the film as much as she did in the book and mark wahlberg diffinaltly didnt fit the daddy role he should really stick to action roles in future. Stanley Tucci however did a great job playing Mr Harvey he did this brilliantly and made you create true despise for him, each time you see him all you think is dirty pedo which is key to this character.
The film did include some great lines which is a detriment to the writer alice with my favourtie quote being " These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence. The connections, sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent., that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it." absolute true magic and perfect writing well done Alice!! I would have loved to have heard more lines like this from the book as her writing and story were beautiful.
overall my suggestion would be to read the book before the film, the beautiful lines wrttien by the author should not be missed and believe me there are more than the one i've mentioned above do not miss out!!
Anyone who regulary reads my reviews will by now know full well I am by no mistake an avid reader and that I'm more of a movie fanatic. However a very long time ago I read the book 'The Lovely Bones' By Alice Sebold that this movie is based on and for once I didn't for a minute want to see the movie because, well I loved the book and have never forgotten it. This wasn't my choice of film to watch though my best mate came round with it and thought I'd like it so I watched it!
Film Only Review:
Its 1973 and Susie Salmon 'like the fish' (Saoirse Ronan) is a 14 year old girl living in Pennsylvania with her mum (Rachael Weisz) and Dad (Mark Wahlberg), her sister and her little brother.
Shes a bit of a dreamer is Susie (who also narrates the story) and is finally learning what fancying a boy is all about with a lovely young lad taking a fancy to her and actually asking her out (Ray) via a note. Shes an avid photographer so much so that when her parents give her a camera and rolls and rolls of film for it for her birthday she uses them up quick smart they inform her one roll a week will be developed and thats it.
On her way home from school one day she bumps into a neighbour she doesn't know very well called George Harvey (Stanley Tucci) and in the cornfield he befriends her. Susie is a little wary at first but then he really wants to show her an underground shack that he has proudly built for the local kids to go to after school, so being nosey she decides to. Down in the shack though she soon starts to feel uncomfortable and wishes to leave but Mr Harvey has other ideas and none of them include her ever going home again.
Susie is dead. Well she is and she isn't......shes stuck more to the point! She doesnt understand whats going on. She can see people distressed and saying shes is dead and stuff but she can't reach them. She has to come to terms with her death but first, before she can leave earth for good and stay in her fun heaven where she makes friends she wants to check everyone deals with her passing away and that the person who killed her is found as well as her body, which is no where!
Like I stated at the beginning of this review its one I didn't want to see and as I watched it I instantly worked out why. Nothing was going to be as good as the book....and this really isn't. It leaves out a lot of information that the book tells us so when I was watching this I was busy filling in the gaps in this with what I knew from the book and relaying it back to my mate who was getting infuriated with me for doing so.
The acting was ok. Jack (Susies dad) played by Mark Wahlberg played the doting father to a tee really investing everything he has mentally and physically into finding out who killed his little girl. We see how a death of a child can affect an entire family and there were some nice little touches in the movie and one scene in heaven with the friends that she had made that she didn't think understand how she felt and we learn how they do and did she ever get to have her first kiss?
This was a long dreary watch though. At about 2 hours and 5 minutes long, it was far two long for me. It was simply an ok film, one to rent not to buy but even then there are better films than this to rent at the moment!
If you believe the vast majority of people who read Alice Seebold's novel before it was made into a film, transferring this to screen was always going to be a difficult job. Having not had the experience of reading it, I was nevertheless intrigued with the storyline of a girl who watches her friends and family immediately after her death, in a sort of limbo between the living world and the afterlife.
When the film started, it was clearly going to be a thought provoking one, intent on dramatic and atmospheric camera work and music. There are a few tense minutes before the murder of the girl, Susie Salmon, occurs, but it's long enough to introduce us to the murderer in the unlikely form of the neighbour across the road, with us knowing its him from the word go. Stanley Tucci plays him excellently, and the only downside of this is that his performance far outranks anything else this film has going for it.
Once the murder occurs, we still don't actually see anything, and are left to our own thoughts in its manner, something which is cleverly and powerfully done. This is a murder film unlike others, one a bit more like Columbo, where you know whodunnit and it's therefore more like watching a process than trying to figure out who the perpetrator is. I'm never too keen on this sort of storyline, and in this respect I wasn't so much a fan of the plot.
However, there's no denying the atmosphere that the film brings out, with beautifully shot scenery, an occasionally bland set of colours giving it a 70s feel, and enough angst from the cast to keep you watching. The area that Susie finds herself in, the limbo, is computer generated on the whole and sort of doesn't really fit in with the rest of the film. I know this is designed to show a difference to the living world, but its distant feel and rather quirky and almost angelic appearance, white fluffiness all around and strange visions of different people, just somehow didn't work for me. I found it rather took away from the intense dramatics whenever Tucci was on screen, the creepiness shown in excellence throughout.
He's let down a bit at times by his co-cast. Mark Wahlberg was, I felt, a strange choice to play the grieving father, not in keeping with his usual roles where he doesn't tend to have familial responsibilites. He's better at playing a lonesome character with a point to prove, but here it just didn't sit well. His furrowed and worried brow was effective in places, but the constant perplexed looks just wore thin after a while. Saiorse Ronan was decent enough as Susie, but the airy fairy feel she gave the film was a bit too much when coupled with the limbo presentation, and it took away any semblance of reality that it may have had. There are talks and discussions all the time about what happens when you die, and from what I have heard of the book, this film doesn't do Seebold's interpretation enough justic. It certainly didn't appeal to me very much.
Overall, a bit distant and ineffective for my liking, I found that there were times when the film's beauty and Tucci's excellent performance were the only things keeping it going and maintaining my interest. Take this away, and it's a film I certainly wouldn't bother with. Sadly, this one failed to hit the mark with me.
As we all know, the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it, and one late evening instead of going to bed on time I yielded to the temptation to watch a film till late, and the film happened to be The Lovely Bones. I saw it advertised previously and running ahead of the review I can say that the trailer was much better than the film. Or maybe the trailer created a much better impression of the film, one that made me sceptical about about all the negative reviews, but now, as you can tell, I have joined the sceptics.
Set in the 1970's (look at the colours if you don't believe me), the film tells the story... Well, what story it tells is a big question. I'll start again. Susie Salmon, aged 14, is murdered by her neighbour, the harmless and nerdy (but very creepy) Mr Harvey. Susie's soul gets stuck between Earth and Heaven and from there she watches her murderer, her family, and her first love, Ray.
And that's basically it. No detective story because you know from the very beginning who killed Susie, no first-class police investigation (after all, in Columbo we usually also know the who murderer is from the start), no suspense, and, alas, no real psychological movement or emotion. As a result, I got the impression that the film-makers focused mainly on re-creating the atmosphere of the 70's and creating the heavenly in-between world for Susie. The former went down OK, the latter wasn't that impressive. I mean it was "impressive" and colourful, of course, but looked as if it had been fished out of The Lord of the Rings' recycling bin. Most of the fantasy scenes seemed to have been designed just to be eye-catching, with no other functions or ideas in mind (and in some the CGI was not very seamless anyway). The only scene that I remembered among them and that was in its place was the crashing of ships in bottles. Although if you think of it, even that was surreal and arty, designed to impress and nothing more.
And this shallowness ruined the film on most of its levels. Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon was quite good, but she was literally stuck there with nothing to act out. Everything that was happening to Susie, all her thoughts, observations, revelations - it all came from her off-screen commentary. In other words, what we are given is not a film, but a series of beautiful moving illustrations to the book.
Susan Sarandon was fun as Grandma, only she seemed to be from a different movie altogether and why her comedy thread was introduced there at all was not clear. You are watching a film about a maniac who murders children, everything is rather sad and suddenly Grandma comes with her mega-changes and you find yourself wondering whether it is too immoral to laugh at some scenes or not.
Stanley Tucci as George Harvey, the murderer, was also a bit not from this film. He was properly creepy and nerdy, the kind of character you'd expect a maniac to be. I think the effort was wasted and the rest of the film just didn't match this character.
Placing a maniac like this in the same film with Susie's first love was a crime. Her dear Ray looked as if in a second he would turn to you with a bottle of some anti-dandruff shampoo or a deodorant and say he is worth it. The film-makers probably forgot that beauty lies in lover's eyes and people of tender age are very likely to idealise someone they like. Perfectionism can be bad.
And the main disappointment and "mystery" of the film is the girl who could see things. I think her name was Ruth. Why this Sixth Sense theme was introduced at all is totally unclear. She didn't help the investigation, she didn't... To cut it short, she didn't do anything at all there. Although in the beginning it even seemed that sooner or later she would become one of the main characters or play some key role in the story (sorry, I don't count the kiss).
The situation with Susie's sister is somewhat similar. Without going to detail, I will just say that the film was not focused. Instead of leading the viewer through the story, it dropped him in a salad of underdeveloped story lines that in the end led nowhere. I am left wondering if the book was just as bad.
NB: This review is mirrored in my blog on my personal website, www.artymind.com
The lovely Bones: Directed by Peter Jackson
I had been meaning to watch this film for a long time, but for some reason I was put off watching it even though i've loved every film Peter jackson has ever made. So last night I curled up with the popcorn and decided to give it ago.
The basic plot:
The story is about a young girl called susie who is tragically murdered and watches over her family whilst in limbo (in between earth and heaven). Most people who end up in limbo are there because they have unfinished business left on earth; she faces the emotional battle of whether she seeks vengeance on her killer or allows her family to heal. Her family go through turmoil trying to mourn the grief of susie, however they still don't feel like she has completely left them.
I honestly couldn't make my mind up whether this film was really good or really bad, it was left slightly dumbfounded after watching. On one side there is an element of pure emotion from all the actors my favourite being the man who murders susie, "Stanley Tucci's" performance was excellent and really creepy. I thought the CG representations of Limbo and Heaven were a good ways to illustrate something that the human mind could never imagine and it allowed me understand what was happening on earth and what wasn't. The cinematic quality was beautiful it had overtones of "gladiator" here and there; especially the end scene where susie is amongst the cornfields.
My only problem was I felt like several films had been merged into one; different sections of the film i felt I had seen before. A combination of The Sixth Sense, Bee season and One Hour Photo. As a viewer i failed to get emotional over anything that happen; maybe I'm cold hearted! I also find it very very hard to take mark Wahlberg seriously as an actor, I can't help but feel he was type-casted; i'm pretty sure he just gets angry in films...that's it. Also what is wrong with police in america, i don't know how many times I have seen a film where the police never believe someone until it's too late.
It's not an amazing film, and it's not a rubbish film. The young girl "Saoirse Ronan" put on a really good performance, but i wouldn't really rate this film to many people other than my mum: she loves a good sob.
Rating: 12A -PG-13
So i wasn't sure if i would like this film i had been warned by several people that it was difficult to watch...they weren't wrong!
The film is the story of susie salmon who is murdered by a man who lives on her street, the film then shows her watching her family members from heaven and how they deal with her death.
I'm still not sure if i like this film or not its often very difficult to watch and i found myself unable to sleep after for a couple of nights, i will say they that it certainly did spark a lot of discussions with friends and family about the great is the film better then the book debate?? After reading the book a couple of weeks later i can honestly say in this the book is a lot better as a lot of big characters and scenes were left out of the film which is a shame as i think they would have made the film easier to watch
I bought this DVD a few months ago having heard mixed reviews from friends. The film is admittedly quite weird with its unusual changing landscapes in the place where you go when you die but aren't quite ready to leave your old life behind and go to Heaven.
The subject of the film can be quite distressing but Stanley Tucci, who plays George Harvey the paedophile serial killer, is magnificent in this role, he makes your skin crawl and, although you despise the character, you have to respect the actor! There are a fair few tear-jerking moments as you watch the Salmon family try to move on after the murder of Susie Salmon, played by the wonderful Saoirse Ronan.
The ending is not entirely believable but as a viewer you are glad that it has happened, I don't want to say too much otherwise I might ruin it for people. It is a really lovely film, adapted from the bestselling novel, and I would recommend it to anyone although it isn't suitable for young viewers as it can be really quite distressing but overall it is worth a watch.
- Cast/Credits -
- Story -
A young girl by the name of Susie Salmon is murdered and the movie follows her before and after her death when she watches over her family as she's persuaded to let go of her past so she can move into heaven but she finds it hard to let go and clings on to ways to contact her family. Her emotions are felt by her father and she watches on to see if her family can figure out who killed her while also trying to heal the gaping hole her loss has left them with.
- Thoughts & Opinions -
For me, this was a really good movie that I found myself very absorbed in. The characters are all well cast, the story is very eery and you wonder where it can go next, its your shared wish (as a viewer) with Susie to have her killer be known and her body found to bring closure, although as we discover through the different characters, a different path may have surprising consequences.
There is alot of sentimentality in this movie, I mean ALOT and this is probably the main thing that would go against it for some people. It is, of course, the kind of movie that for most women, your going to want to have a tissue or two handy for but for others it may irk you that it is quite so sentimental. There are many scenes showing Susie after she's passed on, when she's in limbo (being dead but not yet ready to enter heaven as she still wants to cling to her family, to her past) and of course these scenes use alot of CGI to depict this limbo world, which at first is pretty nightmarish and reveals some shocking scenes but in time becomes more settling for Susie and even helps let her make certain realisations as she tries to hold onto the past and somehow grasp on to her parents and let them know that she's there, somewhere (I said it was sentimental!).
Knowing the plot of this movie, its easy to say well surely you know what happens so wheres the suspense there? but I found it very suspenseful, even particularly at the begininng, when Susie fatally decides to trust her killer and let him show her what he entices her over to see. There I am watching, thinking that I know whats going to happen but not exactly when or how etc. and as the scene continues, it is very suspenseful and afterwards there's still quite alot of suspense particularly within the family dynamics, as Susie's father becomes more and more involved in the investigation and so on.
I believe some people have complained that the CGI used to depict the limbo dimension (or whichever term you may prefer to use) that Susie is in for most of the movie but personally I thought it was quite imaginative and I quite liked it. I didn't expect a whole lot from the movie, I had a rough idea of the main story and the fact that it used alot of CGI to depict scenes of her after having been killed but that was about it and I found it very engrossing. I would say that one of the very last scenes at the end, when Susie did her one last thing before she finally crossed over to heaven, that was the point when I thought ok this is getting to be a little over the top sentimentality wise but otherwise I wasn't too bothered and I quite liked the imagery with her walking through golden corn fields, in brightly coloured forests and so on.
I like that the two main characters, Susie (Saoirse Ronan) and her killer, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci) look the part too. By that I mean that Susie very much looks like an innocent young teenage girl of the times (the early 70s) with her yellow trousers, blue jacket and wooly hat, while George does have a very unsettling look about him, his voice and behaviour being a little creepy but not quite enough to warrant neighbours to look more into his background, certainly at first. As well as this, Mark Wahlberg plays Susie's father Jack and this is another good performance as you can tell how much he loved her and how devastating her death was to him.
- Would I Recommend It? -
Yes, I would very much recommend this movie. I don't think that this movie is necessarily going to be loved by all due to the amount of sentimentality it has and also the fantasy element perhaps but as long as your aware of that being in the movie and your still intrigued, I'd definitely recommend it. I can only speak for myself and my reaction to the movie and I thought it was one of the most intense and suspenseful movies I've seen this year. Women, just remember to keep a tissue or two handy, you've been warned!.
Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for all r/r/c's. This review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
I actually haven't read the book but had heard alot of good things about it before watching the film. First thing i would say is that I found Peter Jackson to be a quite bizarre choice to direct this film. I'm not altogether sure that it was ever going to be the right fit.
I also think that any intelligent movie goer is going to seriously question elements of the plot and story. There are some truly ridiculous parts of this film that just points towards nothing but lazy film making. I'm not going to start listing them because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who has not seen it. It does seem to me that the book was a delicate subtle and touching story and that in conversion to film something has gone sadly missing
Nobody acting wise is to blame but there is definately something missing in a story that is supposed to engage you I just never felt it ever really did so. Jackson has strangely chose to fill the film with CGI to the point where it's just so over the top and unnecessary. Characters who should be drawn sharply and given depth to make us care about them are left looking confused about what it is they are supposed to be doing, Wahlberg for example spends the whole film with a goofy confused look across his face coupled with a bad haircut. It's a shame and I honestly think Jackson is mainly to blame. It certainly isn't the worst film I've ever seen but it certainly isn't great either and there are some truly lazy sections that defy belief at times.
I can imagine alot of the people who had such heartfelt effection for the book are more than a little dissappointed with the film version. It's happened to me with a number of my favourite novels and it can be very frustrating.
Still, probably just about worth a watch.