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Old January 5 2010, 04:56 AM   #29
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Also, my thoughts on The Lovely Bones, which I just saw.

The Lovely Bones was a beautifully made film, with gorgeous special effects and some decent performances, especially by Stanley Tucci. However, the film comes off as overwrought, contrived, and forced. There are some truly fantastic moments -- like when Jack Salmon (Mark Walhberg) realizes George Harvey (Tucci) is the killer of his daughter -- but the film is strangely overly sentimental, lacking a certain emotional authenticity that comes with grief and loss. Everything is overblown, and there is no room for any emotional nuisance.

The film works surprisingly a lot better when it is trying to be a taut suspense thriller rather than when it is trying to be a heart-wrenching drama. The scene where Lindsay breaks into Mr. Harvey's room was well-staged and well-edited. Peter Jackson certainly knows how to build suspense. If only he handled the heavy-handed emotional material with a bit more ease. For a film with such delicate subject material, nothing is subtle or quiet.

Overall, The Lovely Bones is a disappointment. I'm an ardent fan of the book, which was so much better at relaying the emotional intricacy of loss. Naturally some of the details got lost in translation, and I think that's my biggest problem with The Lovely Bones: loss is all about the little details, the little moments, and that is something the film sorely misses.
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