Critics Rattle Lovely Bones Movie

The Lovely Bones movie opens this weekend, and the reviews are…rough. Peter Jackson, the director of Heavenly Creatures and Lord of the Rings, gets flack for being too faithful to the novel, and for going astray with special effects in his depiction of heaven, where the teenage protagonist ends up after she is murdered.

But remember – newly-jacketed tie-in editions displayed front-of-store in bookstores can remind readers of books they always meant to read. It’s worked in this case; the tie-in rose to #18 on last week’s USA Today bestseller list.

Newsweek calls The Lovely Bones an awkward mix of thriller, police procedural, family melodrama and mystical fantasy that lacks Sebold’s skill in holding its disparate elements.

By remaining faithful to Sebold’s myriad flights of fancy… [Jackson] has inadvertently highlighted the book’s vulnerabilities. When The Lovely Bones loses its grip on you, its momentousness turns into silliness.

People magazine gives the movie a dismal 1.5 of possible 4 stars in the 12/21 issue. The review is even more scathing (not available online): Jackson has made “a gallon-size, candy-colored margarita, but it contains only a thimble-full of actual tequila,” it says. “How much you like Bones may depend on how strongly you believe in a neon-bright afterlife.”

The Associated Press review is only slightly more tempered, praising Jackson’s striking imagery, but calling the resulting spectacle “showmanship, not storytelling, [that distracts] from the mortal drama of regret and heartache he’s trying to tell.”

The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold
Retail Price: $14.99
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books – (2009-09-30)
ISBN / EAN: 0316044938 / 9780316044936


The Lovely Bones: Deluxe Edition
Alice Sebold
Retail Price: $16.99
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books – (2007-09-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0316001821 / 9780316001823

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