The best part about this movie is the multitude of things going on, I mean the stage is set with a murder plot but that’s only the icing on the cake as we quickly delve into the vastly debatable theory behind the afterlife. The good thing there is that this film doesn’t get overly preachy with the gospel of things and though it does take a page from WHAT DREAMS MAY COME on some levels, it leaves out Hell completely and embraces merely the idea of heaven. Using these tools in any film is a gamble but I have to say (being someone who loves rolling the dice with those types of films) I was impressed by the way it was handled and happy that it didn’t use another “in your face” level of tactics.
Now back to the feast for the eyes end of things; this movie looks fantastic and shines like a supernova on Blu-ray. Jackson’s vision of the afterlife is bold, yet simple. He never goes overboard into a supernatural or evil realm instead he focuses upon simple acts of beauty in nature, shadowed imagery for tension build up and gorgeous colors and landscapes for the happy times that blew me away. Again, this has been done before, but there was a slight of hand present here that felt new and exciting. The watery fields, the birds and tree and especially the scene where the light caught the murderer’s glasses and gave off the image of horns were my personal favourites and were just plain well done.
THE LOVELY BONES was a very engrossing film that took me on a journey rather than just having me turn off my brain for two hours. There are many underlining concepts here, but the great thing about that is that they’re all relatively debatable and will be interpreted differently depending on the viewer. As far as not being totally true to the novel as people are boasting, well, when are movies totally faithful, trust me people it rarely happens so get used to it. Stanley Tucci was a great villain, Wahlburg was “so, so” but the real applause go to Suzan Sarandon (she’s still got it) and Saoirse Ronan for stealing the show. I was worried about the ending for awhile there but it packed a nice punch (a sly wink at fate/what goes around) and left me smiling.
Filming The Lovely Bones: Peter Jackson and the rest of the team wanted to give us something a little different than your standard “making-of” segment and instead chooses to show us how everything came together for them (out of sequence) as opposed to seeing it from beginning to end. Peter Jackson’s a great host and this feature actually runs an hour longer than the two hour film.