The Lovely Bones

Life is just beginning to blossom for Suzie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) who has her first date with the boy she’s been dying to kiss, when she is unexpectedly murdered. Her mother can’t deal, her father becomes obsessed and her chain-smoking grandma becomes the most stable force in the family. But Suzie refuses to cross the border between heaven and earth with her killer still on the loose and distressingly interested in her younger sister.

“The Lovely Bones” is a prime example of a good film based on an acclaimed book that could have been great given thirty more minutes. The characters were engaging but less than ideally developed, case in point would be the mother whose sudden flee from her home only to appear picking oranges on a farm left the audience collectively confused.

Still the use of perspective and sound are undeniably captivating. From the graphically delightful and horrific imagery that is the world between heaven and our own to the use of color to establish the time period.

The heroine and villain are equally engrossing yet most of the film’s seasoned actors have performed better. The least developed characters were Suzie’s parents played by Mark Wahlberg and Rachael Weisz. But Susan Sarandon as Grandma Lynn left Wahlberg and Weisz in the dust creating a delightfully flawed character in her supporting role.

Both a drama and a thriller, there were moments during “The Lovely Bones” which captivated the entire theater making it a film that will provide great images for fans of the book. Yet while it will be a delight for those familiar with the book, the plot holes that “The Lovely Bones” leaves for the non-literary crowd are staggering.

In the end “The Lovely Bones” was a good enough film that attempted to stay true to the book but really could have been lovelier.