Movie Details


Based on the best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, "The Lovely Bones" is the story of a 14-year-old girl from suburban Pennsylvania who is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from Heaven, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all the while attempting to get someone to find her lost body. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 8 Apr 2010
Genre: Drama / Crime / Fantasy
Running Time: 2 Hours 18 Minutes
Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz
Director: Peter Jackson
Format: NA


Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:

Watch this if you liked: “What Dreams May Come”, “Mystic River”

Based on the best-selling 2002 Alice Sebold novel, "The Lovely Bones" is Peter Jackson's personal project (he went out of his way to buy the rights) that must have been a powerful read but as a movie, it comes off as scarcely more than a colourful watch.

If you've read how disgusted critic Roger Ebert was of this film because it suggests how a brutally murdered teen girl is better off in a watercolour "heaven" and how "the afterlife resembles a happy gathering of Facebook friends", then you'd probably be inclined to agree with him. Unlike the decidedly dark but nevertheless similar "What Dreams May Come" in which Robin Williams enters a metaphysical, watercolour hell to save his dead spouse, this drama seems to take death a little too lightly and the cheesy CGI captures little else than the imagination of a moody 16-year-old's suicide poems.

What's it about, you ask? 14-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) narrates to us from the grave (or hell, or heaven, whichever you fancy) about how she has died at the hands of a serial child killer (Stanley Tucci) and how life on Earth is moving along with her grieving parents (Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz) who are at odds with each other on how to cope with the sudden loss. There are vital events in the book that are completely left out for this adaptation but the movie as a whole is already thematically unimpressive.

Perhaps the best selling point of the whole show is the cast. None could be faulted for their solid turns, with special mention going out to the baddie played by Stanley Tucci, who has correspondingly received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. So despicable was his portrayal that you can read about the movie's ending was changed because a test audience wanted the perpetrator to suffer more pain!

Most of the negative reviews for this film have placed the fault squarely on Peter Jackson, dismissing it as a movie that shouldn't have been made in the first place. More forgiving audiences will still find this a worthwhile effort with a strong finish, considering it still comes off as a sincere attempt by a person who admires the source material.

Cinema Online, 01 March 2010
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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