The Lovely Bones – film, USA, 2009

The Lovely Bones is a 2009 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Peter Jackson (Bad Taste; King Kong). It is a film adaptation of the best-selling 2002 novel of the same name by Alice Sebold. Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz star.


In 1973, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan), a fourteen year-old girl living in Pennsylvania with her parents, sister, and brother, dreams about becoming a photographer some day.

One day, Ray Singh (Reece Ritchie), a boy Susie has a crush on, approaches her at her locker and slips a note into her textbook. He asks her out for the following Saturday. As Susie walks home through a cornfield, she runs into her neighbour, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), who coaxes her into an underground den that he says he has built for the neighbourhood children.

Inside, Susie becomes uncomfortable in Harvey’s presence and attempts to leave; when he grabs her, she kicks him in the face and runs into the field and onto the street, rushing past classmate Ruth Connors (Carolyn Dando)…


“Jackson’s film… shows less audacity and too much art. Susie’s unearthly home, in the book a minimally sketched, nondenominational purgatory where the dead loiter on their way to heaven and keep tabs on unfinished business down on earth, has been expanded into a digitally rendered Wonderland of rioting metaphors, crystal seas and floating topiary. It’s a mid-’70s art-rock album cover brought to life…” The New York Times

“Devoting an inordinate amount of time to Susie’s navigation of the afterlife robs the film of an ability to tell the family’s story in full. Short-cuts are taken, occasionally making actions seem poorly motivated or out-of-character.” Reelviews


“When you know the main character dies right from the beginning of the movie (or maybe a year ago when you saw the preview) you are left with a movie that should use all of its energy to make you care about that tragedy. Unfortunately it is not here; instead it would seem that Jackson is more interested in making the “in between” world where Susie Salmon is stuck after she is murdered.” Dave’s Movie Reviews


“The one true highlight outside of the effects is Stanley Tucci as the creepy George Harvey. Tucci was excellent casting and he falls into the role with particular menace, but it’s not a role so dominating that it manages to completely turn the film into something above par. Instead it just works within the environment created and sorts itself out with everything else.” Brad Brevet, Rope of Silicon

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Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Carolynne Cunningham
Aimée Peyronnet
Screenplay by Peter Jackson
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Based on The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold
Starring Mark Wahlberg
Rachel Weisz
Susan Sarandon
Stanley Tucci
Michael Imperioli
Saoirse Ronan
Music by Brian Eno
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Jabez Olssen
Studio Film4 Productions
WingNut Films
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • November 24, 2009(Royal premiere)
  • December 11, 2009(United States)
Running time 135 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand
Language English
Budget $65 million
Box office $93,621,340

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