I remember when The Lovely Bones came out as a novel in 2002. I recall people saying things like avant garde and pushing the envelope, and I thought this book would open up the territory of writing for other eyebrow raising concepts and ideas. I also vaguely wondered if it would become a movie. I remember wanting to read the book, but being a new mother of a baby girl, somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to read material I found so deeply disturbing. Despite my squeamishness, I did keep my ears to the ground and the reviews for the book were wholly favorable, making The Lovely Bones a book definitely on my To Read List. It is in fact a best seller, but you being the savvy readers that you are probably already knew that.
Now 7 years later, the talented Mr. Peter Jackson of LOTR Trilogy fame and Oscar history, has made a film based on the well loved novel written by Alice Sebold. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz (as the parents), Susan Sarandon (as the grandma) and Saoirse Ronan of Atonement (as Susie), one must admit there are some very recognizable (and bankable) names attached to this movie. For my part, I believe that Peter Jackson has cranked out an interesting movie (he’s done more than just LOTR and King Kong), but so far, critics are being hard core and most of the reviews are not favorable.
The story is about Susie Salmon, played by Saoirse Ronan, who is murdered by her next door neighbor who is a serial killer. Looking down from heaven, or “the in between”, Susie watches her family and also keeps an eye on her killer. Expect both thriller and psychedelic qualities with this film that is being compared to What Dreams May Come in a negative manner, which is unfortunate. Everyone’s concept or imaginings of “the in between” are different, and doesn’t Susie deserve a place that is wonderous fair after what happened to her?
Oh well, it’s tough material, Peter, and you can’t win them all. And it is a well known fact that people love to tear a hero down once they’ve attained the pinnacle of success. The Lovely Bones is in theaters now and on bookshelves.