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Murder Changes Everything

Murder Changes Everything

by Dave Durbach / 18.02.2010

Narrated post mortem by the victim of her neighbourhood psycho, The Lovely Bones retraces the last few days of Suzie Salmon and her family’s subsequent efforts to come to terms with her death.

Instead of simply disappearing or floating off to heaven, Suzie languishes in “the blue horizon between heaven and earth” – part fantasyland, part real life (early 70s suburban Pennsylvania). Here she wanders, accompanied at times by her killer’s other victims, able to make fleeting contact with her family, until they can solve her murder and put her lovely remains to rest.

Time passes. Grandma (Susan Sarandon) moves in while the once-happy family unit slowly untangles – Suzie’s mother (Rachel Weisz) being intent on moving on, her father (Mark Wahlberg) obsessed with finding her killer. In the unassuming house down the street, George Harvey’s teenage bloodlust returns, his eye this time on Suzie’s sister Lindsey. Intuition leads Lindsey and her father to suspect Harvey of being the guilty party, and so begins their quest for evidence. Suzie, meanwhile, keeps watch over proceedings, unknowingly willing them on.

The Lovely Bones

For a film dealing with the afterlife and narrated by a 14-year-old girl, The Lovely Bones is impressively free of clichés (save for a corny ‘first kiss’ narrative). Based on the 2002 novel by Alice Sebold, it’s essentially a story about learning to let go – Suzie of the world, her family of her. A large part of the film takes part in Suzie’s purgatory, impressively rendered by director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, King Kong). It’s the acting that carries the film and sets it above other adolescent tragedies and kiddy-fiddler thrillers. Suzie is played by Saoirse Ronan (Oscar nominee in 2007 for the shitty Atonement). Stanley Tucci steals the show as the creepy Mr. Harvey and deserves his Oscar nomination for the part. Wahlberg and Weisz play the shattered parents to a tee, while Sarandon provides some comic relief as the young-at-heart grandmother.

All in all, good escapist fun that will appeal to the teenage girl in you.

The Lovely Bones opens in SA on February 19th.

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  1. Melissa Barnett says:

    Have you read the book? It should do anything BUT appeal to the teenage girl in you. It should send chills racing across your skin. It should make you feel deeply uncomfortable at times and achingly yearning at others. It’s not meant to be some sweet-16-meander through the afterlife complete with glowing skin and soft focus.

    In other words – this movie version looks like a KAK remake of one of my Top 10 books ever. A sentimental, nauseating meander through sub-plot points and basic characters.
    But I will reserve full judgement ’til I’ve seen it.

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  2. ? says:

    “All in all, good escapist fun that will appeal to the teenage girl in you.”

    Are you on drugs, Dave? Have you even seen the movie? If this movie is anything like the book it should leave you in tears.

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  3. Dave says:

    Chill out there…Before you go throwing accusations around, I suggest YOU watch the movie… Then decide for yourself. It’s entirely possible that the book and the movie are very different. There’s an undeniably twee “never been kissed” thread running through the whole film, culminating in a disappointing ending that’s unlikely to leave anyone (but teenage girls) in tears. Besides that, it’s a good movie.

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  4. hakar-g says:

    I found the film very touching. I don’t think you have to be a girl to enjoy this film, to appreciate its feeling of fear from an excellent performance of Stanley Tucci and sadness and grief of a performance i’d never expect from Mark Warlberg.

    The review was rubbish in my opinion, you basically just said this film only targets girls or unless you calling a guy who liked this-gay.

    Anyway the film is awesome, fantastic images and a true feeling of passion from Maestro Director Peter Jackson.

    Go fuck yourself if you disagree.

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