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Movie Reviews
'The Lovely Bones'
(Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, et al / PG-13 / Thriller)

Overview: Visionary Heavenly Creatures director Peter Jackson teams with longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens to adapt author Alice Sebold's best-selling novel concerning a murdered young girl who watches from heaven as her family attempts to cope with their devastating loss, and tracks her killer as he stealthily covers his tracks and prepares to claim his next victim.

Review: So I’m sure you have never heard of me, but I was given an opportunity to write reviews for Exclusive Magazine. My name is Aria Reese and I’m in 11th grade. So now you know a little bit about me, I'm going to let you get to know the movie 'The Lovely Bones.'

So I guess not reading the novel set my expectations to a lower level because the only information I knew was what the trailer showed me. When the movie started, the narration of “Susie Salmon” made the scene make more sense and set the personality of Susie.

Susie is a down to earth, semi-dork, typical American teenager. At this point of the movie Susie doesn’t really realize how precious life is. She treats life like any other teenager would; like only worrying about her friends, love interests, hobbies, and fun. She won’t realize how special life is until it’s gone.

After Susie dies (and I’m not giving out any details of her murder), her parents completely fall apart. Surprisingly, her two siblings, Lindsey and Buckley, don’t show their anger, sadness, or loss. This showed that the director mainly wanted to focus on the Susie and her parents. Susie’s parents, Abigail and Jack Salmon, have different ways of dealing with depression and loss which will eventually draw them apart for about half of the movie.

At one point in the movie Abigail Salmon actually starts telling people she only has two kids which shocked me! Like I don’t care if you lost a child or not, you just don’t leave them out like that! So right before Abigail takes a “vacation,” Grandma Lynn moves in to help the family deal with the loss and whip them back into shape.

Grandma Lynn is the bitter, sarcastic, drunken mess that I never underestimated for a second in the movie. She really showed the family that life goes on. She even referred to the situation as “a tomb sitting in the middle of their house.”

George Harvey AKA the creepy neighbor is played by Stanley Tucci (known by most girls as his supporting role in The Devil Wears Prada) who shows his true cards later in the movie when he gives away a BIG secret about himself that I didn’t see coming. I was reading up on Stanley Tucci and I came across this interview when he claims he almost declined the role because he had kids and can’t stand the constant stories of kids being endangered in any way.

This shocked me since he had the role completely correct in every form from his eye focus to his body language. Even though his role was so interesting, my favorite character was still Susie Salmon.

Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan - and by the way, I just found out how to say her name correctly!) is the major dynamic character of this film! She changes her outlook on life so much once she loses it. I totally think 90% of the girls in my school act just the same as she did before she was murdered because of her priorities in life. When Susie is in the “in-between” stage, her environment was portraying her emotions. When she was sad, everything around her was water, when she was happy the sun was out and the flowers where in full bloom.

Unfortunately the “in-between” stage was a little sketchy towards the end when this anger came upon her out of nowhere. The only time she really showed her anger towards her murderer was at the end when she needed closure. Saoirse Ronan’s acting skills were unbelievable in this film; you could really tell she understood the character.

Overall, 'The Lovely Bones' is a pretty well thought out movie. Unfortunately some areas where either sketchy, “cheesy,” or had a simple and unnecessary transition. I gave the movie, as a whole, 3 (out of a possible 5) stars.

Reviewed by Aria Reese