Peter Jackson's Lovely Bones

Opening nationwide on January 15th, The Lovely Bones has been unfairly dismissed in the press as a low point in Peter Jackson's career. When in fact it is an achievement that only he could have made, blending gorgeous special effects with an intimate story of loss. I mentioned it before but Stanley Tucci is crazy good and will likely get the supporting actor nod he deserves this month. Of course, the negativity that has surrounded this movie isn't without reason. The PG-13 Rating prevents it from going into darker and more arduous territory- the murder isn't shown & rape barely hinted at. & the changes between the in between and life at times suffer overtly drawn dramatics. I wish Jackson could have pushed this to an R rating and -in the process-pushed the boundaries of the film. He also has a badly set tone, switching from bleak to comic relief &- trust me- the last thing this movie needs is a change in tone, even if it plays with both Fantasy and Drama.

It'd be easy to nitpick @ Peter Jackson's latest movie. It has melodramatic tension that sometimes reduces its powerful impact. However -& this is a biggie- its strongest moments are dreamy and terrifying as a 14 year old girl (Saorise Ronan) is murdered by a rapist -incredible played by Stanley Tucci. The girl narrates the movie as she struggles to find her way to heaven, she's stuck in between our world and another life. I don't know why this movie struck me as powerfully as it did but it could be because of its themes and spirituality- which have always been part of me & the fact that it looks at death not as a terrifyingly bleak consequence, but as an experience for thought and spirituality. There's a humanity here that I found very resonant, it ain't gonna hit everybody but it sure did hit me.