Director: Peter Jackson Screenplay: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, based on the novel by Alice Sebold Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Stanley Tucci Time: 135min Age Restriction: 13V
The Lovely Bones is a chilling film of violence and loss, which examines the hold the dead have on those left behind, and is filled with magical imagery and surreal symbolism.
Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is a radiant fourteen-year-old schoolgirl from a happy family. She is just blossoming into womanhood when she is murdered. Her father (Mark Wahlberg) is determined to find her killer, while her mother (Rachel Weisz) does her best to block out her loss and find an escape.
While her family are haunted by her absence, Susie is caught in a surreal world somewhere between heaven and earth, unable to move on to the afterlife.
In The Lovely Bones Peter Jackson creates a sharp contrast between the stark eeriness of the life Susie's family is left to live and the fantastic spectacle of the in-between world Susie is caught in.
The Lovely Bones portrays a father's eternal, unchanging love for his child and the child's need to know that she has made an impact on those she loves. Throughout the film, one is left wondering whether Susie is prevented from moving on by her family's struggle with her death or whether it is Susie's unrelinquishing hold on life that hinders the family's difficulty to heal.
Superb graphics, terrifying scenes and raw acting build a haunting and memorable film, but can't fill in the gaps left by The Lovely Bones' translation from page to screen.
Ruschka says, "The Lovely Bones was intense. It's one of those movies that make you want to read the book, because you can just tell that they tried to cram so much detail into a limited running time."