Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds meets Ted Bundy (The Lovely Bones movie review)

Roma and I went to see the movie "The Lovely Bones" courtesy of a Christmas VIP voucher for the Mezz cinema in Dundrum from our daughter Kate. First, the "VIP" treatment consists of free popcorn and a drink (I didn't forget Lent and had water, Roma had a nice glass of wine) - the best bit is the comfortable seats at the back of the cinema which give a perfect view of the screen. This is an excellent idea for a gift voucher.

However, the movie was very dreary and far too long. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weicz, and Saoirse Ronan. The plot is simple - a girl (Ronan) is murdered but ends up in the "in-between" heaven and earth. Here there is a mix of dark scenes and curious (almost ridiculous) animated scenes of Ronan running around a make-believe world that reminded me of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The darker side of the movie is represented by Stanley Tucci who plays serial killer George Harvey - however, for me he does does not work on screen and does not instill terror or the character of a serial killer. See Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger for an outstanding performance (in 1986) as a serial killer.

The murder took place on December 6th 1973 when the main character Susie Salmon (played by Ronan) was 14 years old (co-incidentally I as exactly the same age in 1973). I did like the reminder of the style (long hair on men) and fashion (bell bottoms, wide ties, and large shirt collars) - this was about the only thing that I enjoyed in the movie.

The Consensus on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes gets it almost right for me...

It's stuffed full of Peter Jackson's typically dazzling imagery, but The Lovely Bones suffers from abrupt shifts between horrific violence and cloying sentimentality.

...though I didn't think it was particularly violent (we don't see the murder which is described in the book by Alice Sebold). Here's the trailer from the movie...

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