In Search of The Lovely Bones

The Lovely BonesEvery once in awhile a movie comes around that truly tests one’s faith.  Spoken like a religious man who understands fate, huh?  I can’t even imagine how I am going to react when my dog dies, whether lone how I would truly respond emotionally, mentally and physically should I ever, God forbid, lose a child.  The heartbreak must be unimaginable.  Thus is the tale of The Lovely Bones.  Knowing nothing about the motion picture I was about to see I got a crash course in five minutes from the woman seated next to me and I was transported into a real life story of the film before it even began.  It almost seemed too surreal if I can speak candidly.

Check this one out.  So the woman sitting next to me asked if I ever read the book.  I told her I had not and apologized for seeming ignorant about the story.  I veraciously told her what I believed the film to be about, the actors involved and the fact that Peter Jackson directed it.  Those seem to matter not to her as you see; she has lived this story before.  She went on to tell me how she accused the author of the 2002 book The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold, of not being the novel’s actual writer.  I asked why on earth would she ever do that?  I must have slumped so far down in my chair when I heard her response.  She told me, much like the plot of the film, that she lost her fourteen-year-old daughter to violent acts of rape and murder.  And guess what?  It also coincidentally happened on the same day as the fourteen year-old girl in the book…December 6th.  She proceeded to tell me how she questioned Alice and asked her point blank after a lecture at Cleveland State University…”Are you sure it was not the souls of the lost children that put this writing in your head?”  Wow!  Some may dismiss her as being crazy, but I was very intrigued by her thoughts on the matter as I try very hard to be open minded to supernatural events like this.  Call me crazy, but this lady may actually be on to something I thought as the lights in the theater went dim and I was exposed to The Lovely Bones for the first time.

The Lovely Bones

Anyway, you are not here to read about my freakish brush with fate beforehand.  So now that I have that off my chest let’s get down to business, shall we?  As I stated before, The Lovely Bones is based off the novel of the same name published in 2002.  From what I understand, it is an excellent read and worthy of its critical praised.  It must have been for director Peter Jackson to have personally purchased the rights to the book.  To my surprise, today I learned that the film was actually given a limited release back on December 11th last year.  It has already received various awards and nominations.  Just so there is no confusion, Friday, January 15th is the official nationwide release date.

The film takes place in the early 1970’s where fourteen-year-old Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is brutally raped and murdered by a neighbor that no one suspects (Stanley Tucci).  Don’t worry.  This is not a spoiler.  Susie finds herself in an in-between world where heaven is down one path, but the road to solving her murder is down the other less traveled one.  She frantically watches over the killer while witnessing her parents Jack (Mark Wahlberg) and her mother Abigail (Rachel Weisz) cope with the grief, heartache and sorrow her disappearance has caused.  This is what I alluded to in my opening paragraph.  A father’s love for his daughter knows no boundaries as we witness Jack’s non-stop plight and attempts to bring Susie’s killer to justice, even when the police have given up looking.  As Huey Lewis and the News once said…”That’s the power of love.”  I am sure they meant that in a completely different concept, but the internal struggle within Jack’s character can be very inspirational to us all, even if you don’t have kids of your own.  I can at least appreciate the story.  While in this limbo world Susie must also come to grip with her own emotions and determine what’s best for her family.  Does she pursue the killer by leading her family closer to them, at the same time tearing up the family ties, or does she allot them the much-needed distance to recover from their tragic loss?  What would you do?

The Lovely Bones

All in all, I sat there wide-eyed and mesmerized by the chain of events that unfolded on the silver screen tonight.  That’s not to say that the film did not have its occasional flaws, but for the most part I was happily able to overlook them.  In order to give the movie a completely fair assessment I think I would have to give the book a read through, but cinematically speaking the ending is really the only point where I can find fault with the film.  However, I truly do believe my gripes are also a combination of my own personal vendetta that brewed within me from the moving plot that honestly just wanted a completely different type of ending.  I whole-heartedly love revenge movies!  This is just a slightly different approach.  In the end, I truly believe all parties get what they want out of The Lovely Bones.  Now all you have to do is go see the film!   


The Lovely Bones Theatrical Poster





Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

3 Responses to “In Search of The Lovely Bones”

  1. Sandy

    Loved the book – can’t wait to see it. Awesome review!

  2. Sandy

    Just saw TLB yesterday. It was well made. I like how they did all the almost Heaven scenes, I couldn’t imagine pullling that one off. I was a little disappointed with a few things they left out. Loved the book, liked the movie – but glad I saw it.

  3. Brian White

    Thanks for the follow-up Sandy. Although I did not read the book I felt the same way. I was glad to have seen it, but I don’t think I will be returning to The Lovely Bones anytime soon.