Friday, March 05, 2010

The Lovely Bones

I made a bad mistake with this one in that I popped in on a screening between films and what little I saw left me cold. I think it can be said we were all excited when we heard Peter Jackson snagged the rights to the Alice Sebold novel and with what he had done in the past with LOVELY CREATURES almost made this a no-brainer. Then the critics at large pretty much ripped this baby a new one and it just kind of faded off in the sunset. Now, like so many things I could go on and on but I have to get this blurbed before the Oscars so let me just throw a few thoughts out there. THE LOVELY BONES is in fact a great film IF you try to look at it through the eyes of a 14 year old and this is where I think many missed the point of what Jackson was trying to achieve. He was blasted for glossing over the horror of Susie Salmon's rape and murder and if you attack it from the viewpoint that Jackson was making a film for teenagers then this decision makes perfect sense. Of course I read the book and at the time I thought Sebold had been writing for a younger market and just so happened to land a blockbuster which appealed to adults. I don't know if this is true but it was the sense I got. The second thing I would like to point out is Mark Wahlberg. He was roasted for not having the chops to fill his role...unfairly so. Jackson lost his lead, Wahlberg just so happened to be in the area and stepped up to the plate and he is nowhere near as bad as some would have you believe. Susan Sarandon was not wasted as some claim, merely a diversion and Rachel Weisz gives an understated performance needed for this project. The great Michael Imperioli could have been better utilized but as it is his role was merely a bit part anyway. This brings us to Stanley Tucci. Is he great as our murdering George Harvey? Yes. Does he lok like he watched Jeff Bridges in THE VANISHING a hundred times to prepare for the role? You betcha! Will he win the Oscar for supporting actor. Any other year he'd have a damn good shot but not this one. There is no way in Hell anybody is beating Christoph Waltz in INGLORIOUS BASTERDS and you can take that to the bank. In closing THE LOVELY BONES is a great piece of work if you remember the 14 year old eyes (by the way, Saoirse Ronan is fantastic as Susie Salmon) and you gotta love a flick that has THIS MORTAL COIL and THE COCTEAU TWINS in the soundtrack. Well worth the rental fee.


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