The Lovely Bones (2009)
Writer: Fran Walsh / Philippa Boyens / Peter Jackson (screenplay), Alice Sebold (book)
Director: Peter Jackson
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanely Tucci, Rachel Weisz, Saoirse Ronan
"My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. I took his photo once as he talked to my parents about his border flowers."
this one's on the list! the shittiest movies in history! words cannot describe how much i thought this movie was garbage. where do i even start? why does the dead girl loudly whisper ALL her lines!? we fucking get it! she's dead! i think, as an audience our tagline for this movie would be "WE FUCKING GET IT!" it was so crazy over the top. the only good thing could have been to watch this kid's brutal rape and murder, except we never get to see that part. the only reason you know she's dead is because she is...and, oh YEAH, the whispering! they never once reference the way she died. i only know she was raped because one of my friends was told to read this book, but that shied her away from it. raping and murdering children is kind of hardcore and could have given this shit pile some pointy peanuts or corn. it still would have been crappy but at least it wouldn't all be brown pudding. ah, poop. it's funny. so yeah, i wouldn't have known such a detail if i hadn't heard it from an outside source because the movie skipped over the actual murdering bit and never referenced it again. it was the big elephant in the room. also, the way the movie came off was that she wanted to give the people in her life some closure, through 15/16ths of the movie and then, nope. i'm just gonna kiss the guy i had a crush on because i've never been kissed. (i guess her rapist wasn't into that) why even present the afterlife part of it if she wasn't there to do anything from the other side? closure seemed to be the movie's goal and then it flipped at the end and nobody got closure they just sort of got on with things. going over this in my brain makes me want to punch myself in the face again for even giving this the time of day.
needless to say i HATED this movie. i don't understand the phenomena about this book either because from where i'm sitting even the story base is shit.
i didn't even get to marky mark. jesus. that guy always comes off like a total nob.
OK. Firstly I have to say that I am writing and releasing this review out of sequence in order to give everyone the opportunity to read my woman's review as quickly as possible. Secondly I have to say that I called this movie as a 1 long before my woman did.
From the first scene, I was annoyed by this. I was annoyed by that girl's voice. I was annoyed by all the soft focus and lamenting music and gee whiz, ain't it the best thing in the world to be a 15-year-old girl, on the cusp of so many meaningful life experiences. Audiences are not anvils. The movie made it impossible to care about the character, because even if she never said (OVER AND OVER) "because he killed me," or any number of variants thereof, we would have gotten that she was going to die because the film is like a fucking bully, bashing our faces into the pavement of the point.
The second act continues to focus on the girl, with everything else as a backdrop. I heard it said in at least two places that the movie is about grief and how people deal with death. There are more than three characters who should grieve, but we see the reactions of only those three characters. Her fucking siblings barely get a mention, other than to show concern for her parents. That would be OK, if we got any nuance at all about the adults, but we get exactly the opposite. Marky Mark won't let go; he wants to solve the murder and it's eating him up inside. What's-her-face the mother (Rachel Weisz, apparently, from over my shoulder with spelling corrections) just can't deal with this shit, so she ditches everybody. Susan Sarandon is pragmatic and moves the family on. That's it. Archetypes.
So when we get to the conclusion it doesn't matter. The re-connection of the people, one of those things that makes Pulitzer stories like The Hours so great, is cobbled together out of a pile of used Tinker Toys, and then the ending abandons the mystery anyway. Sure it gets solved and sure he dies (oh, shit--spoiler!--sorry, Cal). But we have no investment in anyone, so we don't care. The fact that his death is empty could be played for real emotion and literal irony. It is not.
Peter Jackson can direct a scene. Peter Jackson can direct the FUCK out a scene. Peter Jackson cannot, however, direct the shit out of a scene, especially when he's at least partially responsible for the writing in the first place.