Posted by: da_nibbler | January 15, 2010

Review: ‘The Lovely Bones’

Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated latest film, The Lovely Bones, is shopped around for awards with the accomplished director most possibly looking at yet another Academy Award nomination. After I have finally gotten around to watching it I am wondering why.

There is brilliant acting throughout the whole film with the exception of Mark Wahlberg. But then again, did anyone expect any different?

The premise of the bestselling book by Alice Sebold got everyone hyped about the film and its content in the more than capable hands of Peter Jackson. Given his trackrecord, I am thinking of the likes of Heavenly Creatures more so than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy that made him famous, I could not help but be disappointed with the endresult.

The ill-structured narrative feels botched together as if someone had created a checklist of must-have-scenes from the book and glued them together with duct tape. The story doesn’t flow and has no room to breathe.

As if trying to make up for these shortcomings it seems like Jackson put all his attention on the visuals. He has some great cinematography, deliberately framing shots a certain way with attention to every single detail. Especially in the scenes with Stanley Tucci you can’t help but admire the director’s love for visual details. The scarce and well-timed macro shots were equally fascinating as they were disturbing.

Unfortunately Jackson overdoes (or overdoses) it in the “heaven” sequences, where I couldn’t help but feel as if I was drowning in all his visual extravaganza. As beautiful as these shots were (supposed to be) all they left me with was a rather bad taste (pun intended) in my mouth. Less is more and it seems someone needs to remind Jackson of that again.

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