The Lovely Bones | The Popjustice Forum

The Lovely Bones

Discussion in 'TV + Film' started by sifr, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Looks like Jackson's fucked it.

    It's 12A/PG-13, Susie's murder is glossed over and sanitised, they've dropped her mother's affair with the detective and (nrgh) her heaven has gone the way of ever changing CGI backgrounds.

    Seems like Saoirse Ronan's astonishing acting is now my only reason to see this.
  2. I *heart* the book, I hope it's semi-interesting.
  3. I've never read the book so I can't comapre but the trailer looks immense.
  4. The book is fantastic! I would reccommend it!
  5. I heard the guy who kills her is actually a padophile but I didn't get that from the trailer. Was it look that in the book or is somebody lying to me?
  6. ^ That's more or less right, yeah, it was like that in the book. Not to ruin anything, but Susie wasn't the only person who had been murdered.

    I hope the movie isn't completely fucked up. I understand it may have had to have had some detailed changes from the book, but nothing too drastic.

    I will see this. It'll be the first book / film crossover i've seen where i've actually read the book first.
  7. Right, well I hope the film retains some sort of edge. I may actually fish the book out.
  8. I'm looking forward to this despite the fact I thought the book was crap.

    Well not crap... I dunno it's one of those cases of a book that did keep me wanting to read till the end so it must have had something despite the fact I thought it was badly written and finished it with a sense of 'is that it?'

    I know someone who has seen it and loved it though and she's never read the book and she thought the way they handled the murder scene was really great.
  9. Charley

    Charley Staff Member

    "And I don't know why I lied to you guys about having read that book... I'm just nervous, ARGH! Anyway, I didn't read The Lovely Bones"
  10. What's that quote from?
  11. I saw the trailer for this and just thought "BLUE SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN" - thanks, again, Mr Jackson.
  12. Charley

    Charley Staff Member

    A hilarious episode (2.10) of 30 Rock!
  13. Oh I'm just getting into 30 Rock.
  14. The Lovely Bones is a spectacular book, as others have said. I hate to get on the literary hype train so readily, but it's really merited in this case!

    Jackson's already had a go at the magical realist teen girl psychology family crime drama genre (IT IS A GENRE BECAUSE I SAY SO) with the uneven but close to amazing "Heavenly Creatures", how'd we all like that one?

    I hope he can match up to that, though it is admittedly a little troubling/baffling that he's managed to cram 100 million dollars of CGI (!!) into a novel that had not a single obvious opportunity for a major effects shot. The man's one orc too far gone at this point, maybe...
  15. tusketeer

    tusketeer Guest

    Hello there!

    Shamless plug we know but we are running the official UK Facebook page for The Lovely Bones.
    Come and check us out on Facebook here: or if you are on Twitter you can follow us here:

    The Lovely Bones x
  16. Loved Heavenly Creatures - I saw it on my 15th birthday (at the art cinema which would let me watch 18 cert movies on my 15th birthday) Haven't seen it since because it's so bloody hard to find in the UK (I don't think it's ever made it to DVD here). I recall it being brilliant though.

    But your second point is right, I fear he's gone over-elaborate with the effects. The way I saw it reading the book, and the way I'd do it if I'd directed the film, Susie would just think about things (her apartment, the school) turn around, and they'd be there, simple camera trick or edit. No need to have things growing or morphing all the time.
  17. I found it being sold on although it doesn't look like a UK release.

    It's odd really, I remember seeing this movie on UK TV a good few times.
  18. I just saw this. It's hard to say how someone unfamiliar with the source material would take the movie. It has some very compelling spots, and Saoirse Ronan is a riveting screen presence, but I don't think it quite works overall. A friend who saw it with me, and who had read only the beginning of the book, was lukewarm on the film.

    It feels very much like in trying to jam in almost all the book's plot points, Jackson ended up shortchanging all of them. The plot progression feels choppy and the characters underdeveloped. Major events and plot points from the novel are often left in without any of the preceding development or context, so I was left wondering whether they'd make sense - let alone have any emotional impact - for the average viewer.

    The best example is the relationship triangle between Susie, Ruth, and Ray; the big payoff scene (light spoilers to follow) is replicated pretty closely in the movie, but it makes little sense because Ruth and Ray have both been reduced to cameos prior to this and no indication is given that they've built any friendship around their shared loss. The stakes of Susie's decision about how to use her time on earth are also not made clear - the love scene (reduced to a kiss in the film) is intercut with a scene of Susie's body being disposed of, which doesn't adequately convey the choice she's made to let go of the investigation. My friend who hadn't read the book was baffled by what the hell was happening.

    The editing problems also come to the fore here - the ending is, by pretty much any standard, jumbled and confusing. Several scenes from the book are mashed together to form a climax, which I actually like the idea of but is hard to follow in practice. Jackson tries to restate the novel's "pushing for closure vs letting go" theme by having Lindsay escape with the evidence (made more of an explicit smoking gun in the film than in the book) from Harvey's house and then elect NOT to show it to her father. But then she shows it to her grandmother instead, at which point we want resolution on what the hell happened to Harvey being brought to justice.

    This is where things go off the skids. We're shown a literally blink-and-you-miss-it shot of police sirens blaring, Harvey goes to the sinkhole to dispose of the body, we get our Ruth-Ray scene, and then - with no concrete indication that any time has elapsed but, confusingly, what looks like some subtle aging makeup on Harvey - he's standing at a bus stop and we have, as in the novel, his final scene with the icicle. This is made even more confounding by the fact that Jackson cast a girl who looks nigh-indistinguishable from Ruth's actress for the little role in the icicle denouement.

    The result is that my friend thought that Harvey walked straight out of his house, Ruth chased him, and then he fell off a cliff for no discernible reason (Jackson tries valiantly but fails to translate into visuals the book's clever foreshadowing of Susie's death-by-icicle thinking). It's all a bit of a mess.

    This all happens VERY QUICKLY, intercut with the family hugging and reuniting and Lindsay inexplicably pregnant all of a sudden. This has zero emotional weight because the family struggle has been pathetically underdeveloped and we're given almost no evidence of Lindsay having a meaningful relationship. It also doesn't make logical sense because the way the film is edited affords us no clear sense of chronology - we have no idea how old anyone is at any given point, or how much time has elapsed between scenes. My friend hadn't the faintest inkling that more than a year had gone by and assumed Lindsay was still 14 until the out-of-nowhere pregnancy shot during the denouement.

    Brian Eno's ethereal, synthy score is at times very effective and moving but weirdly inconsistent and intrusive at others, especially during 'action' moments, where he resorts to blaring and inappropriate electric guitars on several occasions.

    The much-criticized ceaseless procession of effects shots is indeed needless and distracting at times, but the movie has bigger problems. It's handsomely made and has a uniformly excellent cast anchored by a captivating lead performance. It just doesn't hang together in the end.
  19. I read the book a good 5 or so years ago and at the time had people saying "oh they're making a film of that", so I can't believe it's only just coming out. I also had people saying "oh, it's brilliant, you'll bawl your eyes out at the end". I thought it was so-so and the end was the worst part and not the least bit eye-out-bawling. I can't really remember a great deal of it now so the film may surprise me if I see it.
  20. The critics are right, the movie is shit.
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