Film: The Lovely Bones

Opened: December 11, 2009

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Rose McIver, Michael Imperioli, Christian Thomas Ashdale, Reece Ritchie, Charlie Saxton, AJ Michalka, Carolyn Dando, Nikki SooHoo, Jake Abel & Thomas McCarthy

Though its source material is strong, The Lovely Bones as a film doesn’t seem to know what emotions it’s trying to convey.

Fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is murdered by her neighbor Mr. Harvey (Stanley Tucci) on the way home from school one day. Over a few years, her family learns how to deal with her loss as she watches from above.

While the novel can seamlessly transition between Susie’s in-between world and a Earth, the film suffers from stark tone shifts. It feels like you’re watching two distinctly different films. The real world is gritty and imperfect while the other is imaginative and colorful.

Ronan and Tucci, however, both give marvelous performances. Tucci is especially creepy. The supporting cast is also strong in somewhat reduced roles.

Final say. Good acting can’t save this strange weaving of styles. ★★☆☆☆

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