The Lovely Bones, based on the novel by Alice Sebold
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
The Lovely Bones is a very good drama.
It has accents pf Fantasy and elements of horror.
With a metascore of only 42, it has not overwhelmed critics.
But it did get 45 nominations and 10 wins.
The Lovely Bones received three of the most important nominations in the movie industry, all for Best Performance in a Supporting role:
- The Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, all for Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci is an excellent actor, although he was restricted to supporting roles, with very few notable exceptions:
- Big Night is one that I remember and perhaps his role in Julie & Julia could be considered as more important
Notwithstanding the fact that Stanley Tucci definitely deserves more chances to play in a lead role, he also makes a strong case for supporting roles.
For although considered not a “leading role”, his rendition of the character of George Harvey is crucial for The Lovely Bones.
There is so much attached to this part that I would plead for a reconsidering of supporting vs leading roles.
Yes, the duration of the presence of an actor on screen is relevant, but I see the part of George Harvey as deserving more attention.
The director of this intense drama is Peter Jackson, who is of course internationally famous, but for a different kind of film
- When you say his name, the various Lords of the Rings and Hobbits come to mind
- And the associated Oscars
But Peter Jackson is not just a creator of the Hobbits’ worlds, in fact one of his early notable productions has been:
- Heavenly Creatures, a crime story with Kate Winslet at the center and included on the New York Times’ Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made list
The other members of the cast for The Lovely Bones do a great job:
- Mark Wahlberg, albeit not a favorite of mine is good as the father of the killed girl and Rachel Weisz is also giving a strong performance as the mother, with Susan Sarandon bringing an element of fun as Grandma Lynn
- Saoirse Ronan is the star of the show, nominated for a BAFTA, in the role of the teenager Susie Salmon -killed by the monster George Harvey
The audience learns very early about the fate of the poor girl, who is just “starting her life” as the cliché would have it.
Susie Salmon has just found a young man that she is attracted to and enjoys a good family life when disaster strikes.
She tells her story from between heaven and hell and tries to or thinks about interfering at times in the life of her family.
The parents, police and most people are terrified about what happened and try to find the monster that did it.
We know all along.
It is the man who lives next door and who appears to be “normal”, even somewhat friendly and decent.
This makes for an even more challenging part for Stanley Tucci, who has to move from one personality to the other.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is the role of Susan Sarandon as the grandmother who has to bring some balance:
“Jack Salmon: [Jack has invited Grandma Lynn to stay with them or awhile. He brings two suitcases in from her taxi] Is this all there is?
Grandma Lynn: Don't be ridiculous; that's just my makeup.”