The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Director: Peter Jackson

Cast: Saoirse Ronan (Susie Salmon), Mark Wahlberg (Jack Salmon), Rachel Weisz (Abigail Salmon), Stanley Tucci (George Harvey), Susan Sarandon (Grandma Lynn), Rose McIver (Lindsey Salmon), Reece Ritchie (Ray Singh)

Plot Summary: After being brutally murdered, a young girl watches over her family and her killer from the beyond.

The Good

» Stanley Tucci. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Everyone else in the film was fantastic, but Tucci really outdid himself. He definitely deserved his Oscar nomination.

» Mr. Harvey’s underground lair. It was even better (i.e. scarier) than I imagined it would be.

» The visuals. The whole film was just visually stunning – the costume design, the color scheme, the special effects. I expected nothing less from Peter Jackson.

» The score. It was so beautifully haunting without being overly terrifying or thriller-esque. Kudos to Brian Eno for another winner.

The Bad

[MINOR SPOILERS]

» Susie’s death scene. Even though I read the book and I knew how and when she died, the movie actually confused me. She “escapes” from the underground lair and then is running through the streets… it took me a while to figure out that she was dead, because I kept waiting for Mr. Harvey to actually kill her. Perhaps I would have been less confused if I hadn’t been expecting more of the actual death scene.

» Post-Susie’s death scene (aka Susie figures out she’s dead). Perhaps Peter Jackson was going for a less-traumatizing reveal, but seeing Mr. Harvey in the blood-soaked bathroom with his murder weapons around him, in my opinion, was much more disturbing than seeing an actual murder scene.

» Ray Singh. They turned him into a total creeper – he was way too slick for a high school boy. (No wonder Susie was nervous about talking to him.) They also cut out a lot of his and Susie’s backstory, which I felt was important to the book’s plot and character development.

Movie vs Book

I understand the need to make adjustments for the book-to-movie transition, but as a fan of the book, I was left rather unsatisfied with some of the unnecessary changes that were made. However, I feel like the spirit of the book was left intact, and if I hadn’t read the book at all, I’m sure I wouldn’t have noticed anything awry. Peter Jackon did a beautiful job directing, and overall it was a very enjoyable film.

1 thought on “The Lovely Bones”

  1. I skipped over the spoiler section of your review because I haven’t seen the film yet. I have read the book though and I’ve heard that the ending is different. That can be so frustrating when you expect something that just doesn’t happen. I hear that they don’t address the rape from the book either. Personally, I think those are vital parts to the story.

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