JJ Reviews: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones 

The Lovely Bones is Peter Jackson's new feature film. It's been 5 years since the beast that was King Kong came out and like that movie, this one was keenly anticipated.

The Lovely Bones is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alice Sebold.

In short, the story is about a murdered girl, Susie Salmon, who looks down from 'her heaven' and witnesses how her family copes with her death whilst she tries to tell the world who murdered her.

There are no Orcs in this movie so Tolkien fan's should not expect a swords and elves running round type of movie, instead you get a slow paced movie about a family in crisis.

The heaven that Susie inhabits, following her murder, is a world of beautiful colours and shapes that bend to the will of her imagination and also the events that happen on earth.

A scene where her distraught father is smashing his ship in a bottle collection results in Susie standing on a shoreline watching a fleet of giant ships in bottles being shipwrecked against some rocks is astounding movie making.

The film's villain is perfectly played by Stanely Tucci.

Because you are told he is Susie's murderer, the moment he is introduced to the viewer, he is loathsome.

Where he terrifies Susie before he murder, you just knew how much his character was enjoying the moment.

And that should terrify the viewer.

Susan Sarandon plays the alcoholic grandmother very well. Her character offers some advice to Susie, puts out fires and drinks like a Salmon in very entertaining fashion.

Unfortunately her character goes nowhere.

And that's the problem with this movie - the characters are quite thin.

The Lovely Bones is obviously about young Susie but it would have been nice to see some more of the pain the family felt - even though we get the father's pain, a little more across the board would have perhaps helped the movie.

The camera work is the true gem of the movie.

Shots were framed in very interesting ways. Close ups of thumbs turning the pages of books were used to create tension in brilliant fashion.

Lens changes resulting in focus shifts from one character to another were so cleverly done that when they happened, they told a story in themselves.

In all, The Lovely Bones was expertly made and was the classic 'visual feast'.

A strong story was let down a little by some poor pacing decisions in the editing room and the end of the film was a little rushed, with some elements of the novel not included.

This was a good Hollywood film, however, it is a Peter Jackson film and I felt I was left hanging a little, perhaps having set my expectations high.

Extra for Experts:

Peter Jackson cameoed as man looking at a video camera in a film and there is a poster of Tolkien's works displayed in a book store.

Peter Jackon is also taking on production of another book, Mortal Engines. Its release date is set for 2018Download the free audiobook and check out Tom Natsworthy's quotes.

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