Let me start off by saying that despite the highly mixed reviews of this film, mostly bad, I still felt that there was hope for The Lovely Bones. Something about it, about the story said to me "can this really be that bad??". Well I was right. I liked The Lovely Bones quite a bit actually.
Now I've never read the book, only seen the cover multiple times in the bookstores over the past year or two. The only thing I new about this film was from what I had read in the synopsis. A young girl is murdered and watches things play out in the real world, while she's making her way to her heaven. I'm not sure if this is why I liked it more or what, but I seem to be in the minority of fans of this film. Also I think a lot of the Peter Jackson "nerds" out there kinda bashed this film as it's not your typical Peter Jackson style of filmmaking, although there is quite a bit of CGI shots of the girl in the afterlife. With that being said, I think everyone should go into this film and pretend it's an unknown director. Give it a shot.
The Lovely Bones centers around the young Susie Salmon played by very talented Saoirse Ronan. One day walking home from school she's lured into a god awful situation by a very bad, disturbed, and sick individual named George Harvey played by Stanley Tucci who delivers in my opinion his finest most daring work to date, but we'll get back to that. After her father Jack played by Mark Wahlberg starts suspecting it's the man living just up the street, George Harvey, he starts lose control of himself and takes matters into his own hands.
The parts of the film that worked most for me are basically all the scenes that weren't fantasy oriented. I could have done with much less of seeing Susie in the afterlife and would have loved more real life scenes. After her death it's a cross between a cat and mouse game with George, Jack, and Susie's sister Lindsey, who really gives George's sanity a run for his money. up until about 3/4 of the way through the film Mark Wahlberg gives just a descent performance as the father but there is a scene where he confronts George in his driveway where he and his character step it up a notch. It's a great scene. Stanley Tucci's portrayal of George Harvey is freaking flawless. He's so twisted and such a disturbed person it's like we're really watching this nut case and not Tucci. His little mouth movements, the way he makes his straight evil face and then all of a sudden makes it dark and evil, it's amazing to watch. The way he goes from a normal looking creepy guy, to a disturbed creepy guy, to a crazed killer, all in one scene, in most of his scenes throughout the entire film. What an exhausting role for Tucci to play and he's so deserving of the nominations that he's received. A villain that will be remembered in cinema for years to come. I will be buying this on blu-ray the second it comes out for Stanley Tucci's performance alone. The Lovely Bones gets 4 outa 5.