Early Buzz: Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones

Paramount Pictures has begun to screen Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of The Lovely Bones, and reviews have begun to appear online. Lets take a look at some quotes from the early reviews:

Todd McCarthy at Variety: “Peter Jackson’s infatuation with fancy visual effects mortally wounds The Lovely Bones.” …. “Jackson undermines solid work from a good cast with show-offy celestial evocations that severely disrupt the emotional connections with the characters.” … “As the story progresses — in a way that points to resolution in one sense and a simple petering out in another — it becomes clear that the actors are being deprived of any meaty, well-developed scenes to play; we learn more about them early on than toward the end, making this a film of slowly diminishing returns.”

Kirk Honeycutt at The Hollywood Reporter: “Peter Jackson transforms Alice Sebold’s startling, unique novel about the aftermath of a terrible murder into a story more focused on crime and punishment.” … “[Jackson] has changed the focus and characters to such a significant degree that his film might resonate more with those who have not read the book.” … “The film certainly plays well enough as a melodrama-cum-revenge thriller. ” … “it’s also a simpler, more button-pushing tale that misses the joy and heartbreak of the original. ”

More after the jump.

Total Film Magazine: “A sister film to Heavenly Creatures, brimming with not just tears but imagination, thrills and verve. It’s heart-on-sleeve, sure, but it also has a whiff of awards potential. The Academy loves a good cry…” … “…The emotion, Lovely Bones teetering along the thin, thin line that separates genuinely affecting from schmaltzy.” … “Some will label itWhat Dreams May Come 2, and even those plugged in might experience a short circuit splutter come the 12-hankie denouement. But many more – the book’s fans, certainly – will exit exalted.”

Screen Daily: “Peter Jackson’s eagerly awaited film version of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel is sometimes exquisitely realised, sometimes frustratingly uneven.” … “Jackson can’t quite capture a fluid structural rhythm for the piece, even while individual sequences and creative decisions are spot-on.”

Harry Knowles at Aint It Cool News: “This is an incredibly lovely film. From the visuals to the performances to the story-telling and film work… it all goes to capture a very powerful story in a way that makes you want to hug those close to you.” … “This is an incredibly powerful film, masterfully told and captured as only cinema in the hands of a consummate storyteller can tell it. LOVELY BONES will be one of the films of the year. I imagine that some of Peter’s choices in adaptation could very well be hotly debated amongst readers of the book.” … “Most importantly, the movie made me go out and buy the book afterwards, which is the highest complement that a film adaptation can give its source material. It implants a desire to read the source material.”

The Guardian: “How does one make a PG-certificate film about the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl? Director Peter Jackson provides an answer of sorts with The Lovely Bones, which leaves the murder unseen and the rape unmentioned.” … “It’s not that The Lovely Bones is a bad movie, exactly. It is handsomely made and strongly acted, while its woozy, lullaby ambience recalls Jackson’s work on the brilliant Heavenly Creatures, before he set forth on his epic voyage through The Lord of the Rings.” … “The power of the story of a young family devastated by murder is undeniable and the 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.”

The Sun: “This is Peter Jackson’s first feature film as director since King Kong in 2005 – and it is his best yet. Yes, even better than The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.” … “He creates something even more amazing than his Middle-earth fantasy. The effects are breathtaking.” … “Some critics will attack the film for radically altering the novel but many of Jackson’s decisions are right.”

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