As the man responsible for the Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson can do no wrong in my eyes. Up next from Jackson is The Lovely Bones, an adaptation of Alice Sebold’s 2002 novel of the same name.
This marks a move away from the epics which have cemented Jackson’s name in cinematic history, and would appear to be an intelligent decision. Telling the story of 14-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), who is brutally raped and murdered by her neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), The Lovely Bones harks back to Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures days.
Although it’s not on the grand scale of the Rings trilogy or King Kong, The Lovely Bones is hardly low-key. With it’s mixture of normality and fantastical sequences, Susie spends the majority of the film in a world called ‘the in-between’ (a kind of Purgatory/Heaven), Jackson’s Weta Digital effects company has had it’s work cut out again. As you can see from the trailer, they have created a highly-stylised mystical plain which evokes memories of 1998’s What Dreams May Come, with colouful flourishes that immediately grab the eye.
Effects aside, the concept of the story is encapsulating. As mentioned above, Susie spends the film observing both her family and her killer as they come to terms with the fall-out of her death.
The originality of the premise, the excellent effects, and a stellar cast means that Jackson should have another success on his Midas-like hands.
The Lovely Bones
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Michael Imperioli, Susan Sarandon
Release Date: December 11th 2009