On account of some feedback I have decided to make the font bigger; I hope this makes for easier reading Molly!! It was film night in the Davis household and tonight’s choice took the form of the film adaptation of Alice Sebold’s novel ‘The Lovely Bones’. Despite quite detrimental reviews I was still really looking forward to this one.
Unfortunately the film just doesn’t work on the same level as the book. The scenes that are cemented in reality are for the most part touching and well-acted, however the cuts between life without Susie and her experience in ‘heaven’ just didn’t feel coherent and started to grate as the film progressed. I didn’t respond the way I did in the book and part of this was that a lot of its original content had to be cut to facilitate tension within the film. A lot of the symbolism was visually stunning and no doubt the CGI is terrific, I thought the way they showed the larger ships crashing to shore as Jack smashed his glass model was very clever but other than that it annoyed me. A lot have said this was unfilmable book and while such comments have been made about the likes of ‘Atonement’, another Saoirse Ronan film, sadly it seemed to be the truth in this case. For me it was the actors that enabled this film to be somewhat enjoyable, although I’m not sure that’s exactly the right word. Stanley Tucci as George Harvey was incredibly creepy and both Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon add a touch of class.
Ultimately Peter Jackson drenched the film in nostalgia, the 70’s vibe worked well, but otherwise prevented the audience from forming any grounding connection with the characters. It jumped years at a time and often cut to the same footage of Susie riding on her bike taking pictures and alas whilst the running time felt too long, the time spent with the characters felt too short. Paradoxically this works on one level in that it was a snapshot of their life, mirroring both Susie’s ending sentiment and her photographic hobby. Nevertheless this was nothing more than a triumph in special effects. I might have another read of the book however to remind me of what a good concept it was in the first place.