The Lovely Bones

Over the weekend, I went to see The Lovely Bones, one of my most anticipated movies of the year.

I loved the book so I was so damn curious to see how it would translate to film and I thought Peter Jackson would rock it out. I hate to say that I was a little disappointed.

The book goes through the period of some years, the father’s obsession, the mother’s growing distance, the other daughter’s battle to mourn yet still grow as her own person and Susie’s struggle to deal with the loss of her life.

I wasn’t concerned on how they would pull off the whole “in-between” world Susie stays in but how the film would carry the course of the book. To me, it was choppy and rushed. I didn’t think the movie would show all the years the book covers but I thought some things would be chosen then progressed out, but instead there was no steady pace and the flow was out of sync.

Maybe my loyalty to the book kept me from enjoying the mixed sequence and added plot point moments in the movie but it just kind of annoyed me.

I’m ashamed to admit that the best performance in the movie was of the killer, George Harvey played by Stanley Tucci. Every time he was on screen, I was disgusted and uneased yet, he played the role fantastically. His Chester the Molester comb over, pedophile gaze and unsettling presences breathed life into the soulless monster I’ve only known as text on pages. Tucci gave that monster a human form yet still held all of those horrific qualities.

*Spoiler involving the end of the book and movie, highlight below to read*

The one thing that angered me about the book was that Harvey was never caught. He left town and the family along with Susie had to accept it. The broken family found their way back to peace and Susie had one last moment on earth then moved on. Even I was forced to accept that Harvey maybe would be caught for another crime or die and be forced to deal with crimes in a more spiritual manner, but I was never given that satisfaction of knowing for sure if that would be the case. The movie gave me what I need. George Harvey died a horrible death in the end and it gave me and the audience some solace. We could leave the theater feeling however we wanted to feel about the movie as a whole, but to know that there was some sort of justice for Susie and all the other people Harvey killed, made everything easy for me to swallow.

I’m not sure if people who have not read the book will enjoy it for all that it is and should have been. I think this was such a hard book to adapt without stopping and focusing on a lot of details. I’m sure that would have made the movie a lot longer. I can’t say this movie is bad because it’s not. It’s just different.

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10 thoughts on “The Lovely Bones

  1. It sounds like this may be one where its better to watch the movie first, then read the book to fill in all the details later.. thanks for the review! šŸ™‚

  2. The Lovely Bones (the book) made me so angry. Overall, I enjoyed most of it but 3 things were quite ridiculous.
    1) George Harvey was never caught. Though he died from an icicle, I didn't think that was a sufficient enough death and that he should have undergone a trial and been murdered in prison.

    2) Why the hell didn't Susie ever tell Ray it was Harvey who killed her! Did this anger anyone else? I was so excited when she was given one last chance to come back to earth and was on edge the whole chapter waiting for her to tell Ray and bring herself to justice. But she didn't. Why?! They were together at least an hour and I sort of felt a bit of their time was wasted for example – Ray took a shower, they slept a little, etc. She had many opportunities to tell him where her body was, who did it, and bring closure to her family but she didn't.

    3) When Susie didn't tell Ray who murdered her, I put my last hopes in Ruth and waited for her to come back from heaven with crosses fingers that Holly or someone else would have told her the story. But Ruth never told Ray anything and if she did, we certainly didn't find out because all that she says to him is “I have so much to tell you” then the chapter ends. And the book pretty much ends too.

    I'm sincerely upset by the injustices of this book. Perhaps thats what Sebold meant to do because in reality there are many injustices and many murder cases do run cold. Regardless, Susie should have told Ray who killed her!

  3. I too was upset that Harvey wasn't caught but I settled for his death as something better than nothing.

    I too was very upset that not only did it seem like Susie only want to come back to earth to kiss Ray and having that made the scene of her coming back pointless.

  4. I believe at the time that Susie came back to kiss Ray at the end, everyone pretty much knew that George Harvey killed her.
    Sebold wrote that they searched everywhere they could for Harvey but nothing came up and the case went dead until Susie's charm was found with the one body of a little girl. That's were they got his fingerprints and knew for sure.
    It was also discovered that Harvey killed that Sophie woman, because she was the mother of an acquaintance of Hal's and Hal was told the man made dollhouses and he phoned the police about it.
    She also wrote that Len knew that if they would have caught Harvey if he had answered the telephone the night Harvey left instead of going to meet Abigail at the mall.

    I think the only thing that disappointed me was the Ray/Ruth relationship.
    I was crossing my fingers, hoping they would, in the midst of comforting each other, get together officially.
    But I know Ruth's character isn't like that.
    Other than that, I adored the book. Probably one of my favorites now.

  5. I also think that Susie kissing Ray and spending that time with him was closure for her, Ray and Ruth as a whole.
    While some of the things that happened may have been pointless, it was a closure for those characters.

  6. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'll probably wait until it comes out on DVD or find it online.
    I've heard good and bad things about it, so, I don't really have too much of an opinion from people who've seen it.

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