‘Lovely Bones’ reviews begin to trickle in

Posted by · 2:17 pm · November 24th, 2009

Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely BonesSpeaking of Peter Jackson’s latest, the film screened for the Royals tonight across the pond.  The Guardian has doused it:

The screen version, by contrast, is so infuriatingly coy, and so desperate to preserve the modesty of its soulful victim that it amounts to an ongoing clean-up operation…Jackson turns up with his eyes averted, spraying cloying perfume to the left and right.

The Sun, in a clunky example of “writing,” has raved it:

[Jackson] creates something even more amazing than his Middle-earth fantasy. The effects are breathtaking.

Total Film has a rave up:

It deals with loss, grief, rage, familial breakdown and love, most of all love. But it’s also energetic and entertaining, the camera already moving whenever Jackson cuts into a scene and the horror/thriller elements given just enough fizz to recall the director’s early genre forays (minus the splatter) but not so comic book as to undercut the drama.

Harry Knowles, having been spoon-fed another Paramount film, predictably eats it up:

I know what you’re thinking. How can a film about the rape and murder of a beautiful 14 year old girl be anything other than traumatic, but frankly… the film is lovely.

Screen International offers postive words with a few caveats:

[T]he blockbuster film-maker demonstrates subtlety and tenderness in his treatment of the emotive subject matter. But he also almost blows it all with his afterworld special effects, smothering Sebold’s delicate conceit with overblown visuals and ostentatious CGI.

Todd McCarthy saw the film at some point this week or last while the rest of us on these shores were being told “no press,” and is set to pan it (a blurb showed up at Variety yesterday before swiftly being taken down).  I assume that review will be posted soon enough.

More as it comes.  Post any links you come across here.  The film looks to be slightly divisive in the early stages.

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57 responses so far

  • 1 11-26-2009 at 7:06 am

    ninja said...

    It isn`t a critical disaster; it isn`t a rapturous success either. And the latter is what late-screened movie needs to be in order to overtake competition with solidly built buzz. The industry has been talking about Precious, Up In the Air and Hurt Locker for months. To change the game, a movie needs to make people talking and who is exactly talking about Lovely Bones except that it is no game-changer? Precious is getting lots of free press thanks to subject matter (child rape) and I don`t think Lovely Bones will get this kind of press despite the book tackling the child rape matter. The movie, reportedly, totally glosses over it, for better or worse. Also, isn`t Up In the Air a contender from the same studio? With stellar reception? I`m talking about real shot at winning, not landing a nomination because 10 Best Picture nominees made it possible to squeeze in.

  • 2 11-26-2009 at 9:38 am

    Alfie said...

    Empire Magazine just gave it 4 stars.

    I just want to see it!!! December 12th cannot come quick enough!

    Oh yeah Happy THANKSGIVING!

  • 3 11-26-2009 at 5:33 pm

    Me. said...

    TO Kris Tapley


    Good reviews, buzz around the project, popular director (which means it’ll do really good at the B. O.), acclaimed novel… What did I miss???

    Oh, but Julie & Julia is getting nominated. (I don’t think it will to be honest).


  • 4 11-26-2009 at 5:49 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Contain yourself, fanboy.

    There’s a reason for everything.

  • 5 11-26-2009 at 6:00 pm

    Me. said...

    Exactly… there IS a reason for everything… which is why I’d like to KNOW it!

  • 6 6-29-2011 at 4:43 pm

    RileyMagnolia said...

    @ DHE: a weak year for actresses?

    I disagree. The movies that are garnered a lot of buzz and positive reviews are only a handful of movies that showcase impressive acting chops from leading to supporting actresses. You have to expand upon the “buzzed” films because you do a disservice to other films that might as well not get attention for various reasons. Even films that weren’t critically loved jaded our perception of those who did perform well in them.

    Great performances in overlooked or critically dismissed films:

    Abbie Cornish (Bright Star)
    Emily Blunt (Young Victoria)
    Charlotte Gainsbourg (AntiChrist)
    Helen Mirren (Last Station – barely got in)
    Saoirse Ronan (TLB – film had mixed reviews & BO was a disappoint.)
    Michelle Monaghan (Trucker)

    My lineup for 2009 Best Oscar Race:

    Carey Mulligan (An Education)
    Gabourey Sidibe – (Precious)
    Saoirse Ronan (TLB)
    Abbie Cornish (Bright Star)
    Charlotte Gainsbourg (AntiChrist)

    Helen Mirren (TLS)
    Meryl Streep (Julia & Julia)
    Emily Blunt (Young Victoria)

    If the Academy nominated actresses in foreign films then it would a lot more interesting. I don’t believe that Streep or Bullock deserved their noms. (Well, maybe Streep.)

  • 7 6-29-2011 at 4:44 pm

    RileyMagnolia said...

    * Meant 2009 Best Actress Oscar Race