The Lovely Bones (2009)



Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Bold and Beautiful

When Goldilocks decided to start up a life of crime and break into a house occupied by bears, she sampled three dishes of porridge to make sure she had the best one, a dish most commonly referred to as “just right”. In the film business, it’s typically one thing or another, but out of all of the movies that are released, it seems to be more of a rarity for a film to be “just right”, because they are trying to be something more than just right, something phenomenal. In essence, because The Lovely Bones is just right, it is also quite phenomenal.

Saorirse Ronan stars in this movie as Susie Salmon, otherwise known as “The Salmon Girl”. When this movie starts off, it immediately tells you that she was fourteen years old when she was murdered, and then goes on to show you how it came to pass, and what she found in the “in-between” between heaven and Earth.  While there, she watches over her family as they struggle with loss, and watches her killer as he continues to live as a free man. All the while her father continues trying to find the killer long after the police stop looking.

It’s almost hard to say what this movie is even about, because it isn’t your typical drama or even mystery. It is instead those categories wrapped inside a fantasy, and a beautiful one at that. This is one of the most beautiful movies that I have ever seen since I started Dave Examines Movies. Next to this is Life of Pi. I rated this slightly higher because I love the story, as well as visuals, better than Life of Pi. It also shows that a movie does not have to be 3D in order to be beautiful. Sure, this movie could have possibly benefitted off of being 3D as well, but as it was originally intended, it did marvelously. Sure, there was some CGI here and there that didn’t do as well, but you just don’t care, because everything fit “just right”.

Even though it is written by Stephanie Myer, the author of the Twilight series, I am looking forward to Saorirse Ronan’s next film, The Host, which comes out this week. This is because the only times I have seen Ronan’s movies, which included Hanna, I have loved her performance, and I have also loved the movie itself. Some say people know how to pick a role; well, I say she was literally born just to play Susie. She fit the role so well, and contributed to its success in a monumental way. It tells me she knows how to pick a role, and if the same can be said about The Host, then I cannot wait to see it, plain and simple.

Stanley Tucci also did a remarkable job playing the pedophile serial killer. There really is not a lot of movies that put such a strong focus on such a creepy guy, and he is creepy. The scariness is facilitated by throwing in common fears, like claustrophobia. A scene where a young girl is sitting a few inches away from Stanley Tucci’s anxious character in an incredibly small hole with enough close-ups is quite troubling; however, don’t worry…it’s not graphic or anything, it just wanted to establish how creepy he is. They needed that because in the “in-between” place, Susie noted that it was bits and pieces of both Heaven and “the other place”. It needed order and chaos, and it was done so well. It was done…”just right”. But of course it was, it was directed by none other than Peter Jackson.

Peter Jackson is a visionary; it’s no question in my mind that he loves beautiful stories that came from books, and telling them in film for a wider audience. The man is a genius, and deserves all of our respect. The main question is…how would an original movie look from him? We may never know, but if he had no limits as to what he could do? We might see some interesting things.

Overall, this is one of the most visually-stunning movies that I have ever seen, the story is amazing, the acting is amazing, it is a very satisfying movie, and it feels completely original. While Rotten Tomatoes says, It’s stuffed full of Peter Jackson’s typically dazzling imagery, but The Lovely Bones suffers from abrupt shifts between horrific violence and cloying sentimentality.” That is true, but they just didn’t get the point. She was in the “in-between” a place of both peace and horror. Depended on which direction she personally chose to go, the tone would change appropriately. They should really go back and watch it again, it has a deeper message than they realize. I love it, so should you, peace out.


6 thoughts on “The Lovely Bones (2009)

  1. Good review Dave. It had a lot of promise to work, but the story was too melodramatic and muddled to really do much for me at all. Tucci and Weisz were great though and really kept this movie going when it seemed to start to fall apart.


    1. Weisz was alright for me. For me the huge actors were Tucci and Ronan. Whoever did the casting was a genious, even though the worst actor was probably Mark Wahlberg, that’s okay though.


  2. I thought it was interesting, very well done and there were parts I liked. But what does it for me is how I feel at the end. What do I walk away with? This movie left me feeling dark and with images I’d rather forget. I like to walk away from a movie feeling inspired or lighthearted, or if it’s deeply emotional, that’s okay too. I just don’t care for dark and creepy, even if the story was good.


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