Guest / Limited Access /
The Lovely Bones
Our Rating
2 Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
(2 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving disturbing violent content and images, and some language)
Genre
Directed By
Peter Jackson
Run Time
2 hours 15 minutes
Cast
Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci
Theatre Release
January 15, 2010 by Paramount Pictures

The Lovely Bones left me torn. On the one hand, it was an astonishingly creative and beautiful film, filled with the sort of deeply imaginative imagery that makes you want to leap from your seat in applause. But on the other, the film suffers from a conspicuous case of style over substance. While it is a message film—and a good one at that—the message is not prominent, and the conclusion needlessly timid. But it is something the film has no control over that impairs it the most—a philosophical aversion to bend to the rapacious human appetite for vengeance.

The main character, 14-year-old Susie Salmon (a terrific Saoirse Ronan), is murdered only minutes into the film. The setting is 1973 in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown, where Susie is a typical teenager, especially her feelings for a schoolboy with whom she plans on sharing her first kiss. But it is a kiss she is never to have in life. Taking a shortcut through a cornfield after school one day, she encounters her neighbor, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), who convinces Susie to enter an underground den that he says he's built for the local kids. But once inside, Harvey he rapes her, cuts her throat, and dismembers her body. (Thankfully, this horrific event occurs offscreen.)

How do you continue a story when your protagonist is killed? But as Ghost and other films have shown, sometimes death is only the beginning.

While the Salmon family, led by Susie's parents (Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz), tries to come to grips with their loss, Susie finds herself in her own "personal heaven" from which she can observe her loved ones but not interact with them. She watches as police detective Len Fenerman's (Michael Imperioli) investigation grows increasingly cold. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedHot Girls Wanted
Hot Girls Wanted
A documentary on Netflix tells an ugly truth about those who join the pornography industry and challenges our silence.
Editor's PickKevin Vanhoozer, Drama King
Kevin Vanhoozer, Drama King
The theologian's career has been about helping Christians play their part in the great divine story.
Comments
Christianity Today
The Lovely Bones
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.