So I stocked up on some chocolate milk & scotch eggs, accidently wore the dress I had on when I was almost lovely-boned myself (Y’know, man in his fifties tries to force you into his car while you’re out walking on your own..the usual!) and went to see The Lovely Bones. At the start, Susie’s carefree youth is the main event OFC, represented in almost haphazard continuous, swirling camera shots of her taking photos, going to the mall, reading magazines, cycling, shopping (I literally LOLd at the gigantic Lord Of The Rings poster at the forefront of the book shop. OH PETER!) Then straight away, we’re introduced to her adversary. GAWDD, Mr. Harvey. The way his meticulous, delicate dollhouse-making, rose-obsessing and soft-spoken disposition contrasts horribly, but SO perfectly, with the total VIOLENCE of his thoughts, movements..even his style of drawing and writing are fused with viciousness. The cornfield scene was also really strong..like I thought it was great the way the light coming from the direction of the school faded so so visibly into a dismal grey at the field. And then, Susie moves irresistibly towards the inevitable, as her family have dinner at home. Her life is as fragile as the piece of paper that also moves powerlessly towards Mr. Harvey. OH MY..Stanley Tucci..ASTONISHING. I’d almost see the film again just for that performance. The way, as she tries to walk away, he, parallel to her, almost stalks along saying “Remember me?” in sucha *shuddery* way. He is the DEFINITION of a predator! And then underground..how his character then switches as he becomes more and more HORRIBLY excited; his voice becomes higher, hands shaking, laughing now that he has her in his own personal dollhouse, where he is in control. His performance is reminiscent of Frank Langella’s Clare Quilty in Lolita, but somehow more..endearing? Is that wrong? MEH. The camerawork here is GREAT again. As she realises that being trapped under the earth with a paedophile may not be the best idea, the camera echoes Susie’s growing panic, jumping around the room and whooshing in on facial expressions. The rape..you don’t see it but it is hinted at ,mostly thanks to Stanley Tucci AGAIN. Its funny how, just by acting with his mouth or eyes or even just close-up of a fingernail can portray something SOO effectively. He was so good, I’ve actually come to love the horrendousness of the character more. The rest of the film alters between the Heaven scenes and the grief of the Salmon family. Sometimes, it is SO perfect, with the look of a Matisse painting, with endless running gazebos and a lighthouse looming as ominously as Barad-dûr. (OH JEEZ, did I just make another Lord Of The Rings reference? OH) And then, at a lot of other times, it IS The Magic Roundabout. No joke. One plain WEIRD aspect was this REALLY REALLY inappropriate mix of slapstick humour and brutality. Like the opening scene of Buckley choking & Susie’s father’s obsession to find her killer, which was presented in an Oh-the-overprotective-father-ha-ha-ha way. I mean, that was just plain insulting. ANOTHER cheesy part, which was in TOTAL contrast with the horrifically brilliant scene with the dead girls beforehand, was when the other victims approach Susie across Fields Of Gold, as this god-awful music plays over it. WAS THAT MEANT TO MAKE ME CRY OR SOMETHING? *vomits* Plus the bit where she returns for some Sexy-Time with Ray was just a kiss in the end. I mean , the bed was right there, how hard would that have been guys?? Everyone was in STITCHES at the death of Mr. Harvey too! It was so retardadly unrealistic and overly-vicious that it looked as if the frickin’ cliff had a personal vendetta against the guy. Okay, I’m making it seem like it’s a terrible film but the good parts were so good, you almost forgive it. I think everything reaaally exceptional/brilliantly terrifying about this film was in some way connected to Mr. Harvey, ie: that grotesque slo-mo pushing of the safe containing Susie’s body into the sinkhole. THAT was the 100% identical feeling you have when reading the scene, of NOOOOOSHE’SRIGHTTHEEEERE! (Thats the technical term, yknow?) But, after seeing it, it seems that the moral of The Lovely Bones is that maybe loss itself never has a concrete resolution or any TOTAL closure for the people left behind. So, in conclusion: The things that were SO right were: The camerawork. The settings. The plot. That bathroom scene. (I mean, WOW :o) Stanley Tucci. YEAHH, basically he saved this. Really, I think the main fly-in-the-ointment was the fact that Peter Jackson said he wanted to make a film that even his young daughters could see. Much as I worship The Jackson, WHY then, would you pick subject matter that deals with the rape and murder of a KID?! But both he and Saoirse Ronan are so much better than this. There are some moments of pure dead BRILLIANCE, but it’s just disappointing that it wasn’t all like that, considering it SO could have been.
In other words, it’s no Parnassus.