By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
During some scenes in “The Lovely Bones,” I could feel my heart beating almost in time with characters on screen.
During other scenes, I found myself in a theater, no longer lost in the dream of the movie.
Based on the book by Alice Sebold, “The Lovely Bones” tells the story of a 14-year-old girl named Susie (Saoirse Ronan – pronounced SEER-shuh RO-nuhn). She’s our narrator, and we find out pretty early that she’s dead.
Susie introduces us to her home life and her burgeoning love life, and all of it is made bittersweet by the knowledge that she’s going to die.
We see her killer (Stanley Tucci) lure her into a trap, and we see Susie slowly realize her mistake. It’s a riveting, uncomfortable scene, and it should be a lesson to other filmmakers. Director Peter Jackson captures the horror of the moment without resorting to gore or brutality.
After the murder, Susie’s father (Mark Wahlberg) becomes obsessed with finding the killer. Her mother (Rachel Weisz) tries to bury her feelings, and succeeds so well that the grandmother (Susan Sarandon) has to step in to be the parent.
Grandma drinks like a fish and smokes like a chimney, and she provides laughs when the family and the audience need them.
Susie watches and comments on all this in between her adventures in a computer-generated afterlife. The landscape turns from playground to nightmare, depending on Susie’s mood.
Jackson and his team get carried away with their computer-generated world, which put too much distance between the audience and the characters at times.
On the whole, “The Lovely Bones” manages to be both haunting and uplifting, not an easy combination to pull off.
I give it a B plus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “The Lovely Bones” a B plus.
“I enjoyed it for what it was. It was very sad, but had a pretty decent ending.”
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.