Paramount Unveils The Lovely Bones

by Anne Thompson
November 24, 2009 10:31 AM
1 Comment
  • |

Thompson on Hollywood
First, AICN's Harry Knowles ran his review of The Lovely Bones. And now that the Royal Premiere has taken place in London, there's no holding back the floodgates.

UPDATE: Here's a preview from Time's Richard Corliss. And Todd McCarthy weighs in--with a pan:

Peter Jackson's infatuation with fancy visual effects mortally wounds "The Lovely Bones." Alice Sebold's cheerily melancholy bestseller, centered upon a 14-year-old girl who narrates the story from heaven after having been brutally murdered, provides almost ready-made bigscreen material. But Jackson undermines solid work from a good cast with show-offy celestial evocations that severely disrupt the emotional connections with the characters. The book's rep, the names of Jackson and exec producer Steven Spielberg, and a mighty year-end push by Paramount/DreamWorks will likely put this over with the public to a substantial extent, but it still rates as a significant artistic disappointment.

The Guardian is outright negative, while Screen is more mixed:

Peter Jackson’s eagerly awaited film version of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel is sometimes exquisitely realised, sometimes frustratingly uneven. Sebold’s time-spanning story – taking place half on earth, half in heaven, narrated in the first person by a deal girl – was never an easy prospect for adaptation, and Jackson can’t quite capture a fluid structural rhythm for the piece, even while individual sequences and creative decisions are spot-on.

Believe me, I'd run my reaction if I'd seen the film (I don't until later this week). I've been reading the book, so on the one hand, I appreciate how much rich material there is to work with, as a high-schooler (played by Saoirse Ronan) moves fluidly in time through the past and present, heaven and earth, as she observes the aftermath of her murder. On the other hand, that also increases the degree of difficulty. A lot.

  • |

More: Directors, Reviews, Peter Jackson

You might also like:

1 Comment

  • taptup | November 25, 2009 11:43 AMReply

    I would say that both McCarthy and The Guardian are really dissapointed with the adaptation. Other reviewers who hasn't read the book seem to like it very much.

    It's really a shame that they cut the parents' "affairs". They should have gone R with less CGI, instead of PG. But I still want to see it.

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • French Debut Feature 'Party Girl' to ...
  • Stephen Colbert Inherits the David Letterman ...
  • FIRST LOOK: Eddie Redmayne Stars as ...
  • Davis Guggenheim's Malala Yousafzai ...
  • Trailers from Hell Chases 'The Mouse ...
  • WATCH: Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan ...
  • The Top Ten 'Mad Men' Episodes (So ...
  • Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Reunite ...
  • WATCH: You May Never Eat Again After ...
  • Why Ray Winstone Is Perfect for That ...