A few months back we pored over the trailer for Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of The Lovely Bones. The film, which stars fifteen-year-old Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon (the murdered main character who narrates the story from heaven), Stanley Tucci as the local pervert/murderer, and Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon as her parents and grandmother respectively, looked promising. It was going to be scored by Brian Eno!
And now there’s this: a two out of five stars from Xan Brooks of the Guardian. His main issue is that Jackson leaves “the murder unseen and the rape unmentioned” in order to make the film palatable to mainstream audiences. We find this interesting as just last week we read that the director was adding more violence and suffering to the film after test audiences were “unsatisfied with the fate of one character.” We’re going to take a wild guess and say the scenes involve Tucci.
Brooks also takes a bit of a swipe at Alice Sebold’s original work. “It dared to spin a sentimental fantasy out of a grisly tragedy, offsetting the tang of sulphur with the sweet taste of candyfloss. The difference was that Sebold’s novel was not scared to look the central horror in the face. This ensured that it at least part earned its subsequent flights into the ether.”
In short, the man wants his dismembered body part, and he wants it now. What we’re wondering (and we still haven’t seen it yet, so this is merely speculation) is if what an imaginative audience member comes up with in the situation might trump anything Jackson could dream up. This is the same man who created Middle Earth. If he’s not showing us something, there’s a reason.
The Lovely Bones opens stateside December 11th.