Let me start off by saying I’ve never read the book-but I’m a firm believer in “the movie is the movie and the book is the book”. I predicted in 2009 that The Lovely Bones would be a huge contender at the Oscars for Best Picture. Quickly, seemingly overnight though, those hopes faded as the reviews shredded this thing to pieces. Not just by critics, but by film fans as well. The trailer looked amazing to me, but I went into this fingers crossed. Is it great? Bad? Well, a little of both.
The visuals were amazing, and in a way they are one of the highlights here. It’s beautiful to look at. However the film’s pacing is off and it ends with a very disappointing climax. I’ll get to that later. Mr. Harvey was CREEPY. The man had serious issues and (this is not a spoiler) absolutely loved, i mean LOVED killing girls. There’s a scene after Susie’s murder, involving a bathroom that’s just grotesque. I warn you-this is a very dark and very gritty film. It’s extremely violent. Cats and dogs get murdered so if you are an animal lover (like myself) just..be sure you know what’s coming. Too dark for a PG-13, but we all know why it has that rating.
The first 40 minutes are interesting, pretty much intense throughout. Like I said earlier, the pacing is off. It would go from dark-happy-dark-violent. Something wasn’t quite right, but besides pacing, I never could put my finger on it. The dialogue is pretty good. Not amazing, but actually it was good dialogue. The trailer showed what looked to be an action packed, hold-on-to-your-seat climax…but it wasn’t.
The climax had little action, some suspense, and a very weird ending. Kind of a disappointing one too. Parts of this don’t make any sense whatsoever. All in all, The Lovely Bones has some great stuff in it, but it also has some not so great stuff. I want to call it great, but I also want to call it a big letdown.