Friday, January 08, 2010

The Lovely Bones

While I can't comprehend the emotional turmoil that must result from the death of one's child, I can imagine such an event--especially if the death was caused by a violent act-- would turn one's world upside down. I imagine life, for me at least, would then forever be surreal; things would move at a slower pace, I'd struggle to maintain relationships, and an obsessive focus on my child would rule my life.

Although the plot of
The Lovely Bones focuses on the murder of 14-year-old Susie Salmon, the film is best when it explores the continuum of obsession. The murderer of the young girl, played masterfully by Stanley Tucci, is driven by his obsession. Susie's father, before and after her death, is consumed by an obsessive attention to detail. Director Peter Jackson seems to be commenting on the fact that obsession in and of itself is neither good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Rather, it's how we humans channel our obsession that can be a problem.

The Lovely Bones boasts beautiful and effective cinematography, and incredible acting by Stanley Tucci. The story is difficult to watch, and contains a few small scenes that make it less than perfect (Susan Sarandon and the character she portrays has no place in this film). But it's a powerful movie, with powerful performances.

And you'll hug your kid afterwards just a little bit tighter.

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