The Lovely Bones, is a little different in many ways. It tells the story of a little girl Susie (Saoirse Ronan) who is murdered by a sociopath and how her soul is trapped between heaven and earth while her family copes with the loss. As she watches over her family as well as her killer from the heaven she weighs her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. This is the plot in words as plain as possible. Her dad Jack, played very effectively by Mark Wahlberg is destroyed completely and obsessed with finding the killer played by Stanley Tucci. Her mother Abigail (Rachel Weisz) on the other hand is not able to keep up with everything that happens and takes off to be on her own. Her home becomes like a literal wreck when her alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon) starts looking after the household which includes her younger sister and brother.
The confusion for me personally happened because the viewer is never really allowed to feel pure hatred for the killer who also happens to be the neighbour. Because the storyline constantly keeps juggling between the family members coping with the death, the girl lost outside earth and the killer’s own world, you never really find out if it is a suspense drama, a family drama or an out world movie. The movie is shot beautifully both the scenes on the earth and beyond but this confusion did ruin the movie for me a little. While the concept of a dead girl letting her family recover, while she sees her killer scot free is gripping, it turns into a mishmash because of no linearity in the plot.
The actors, all of them do their parts brilliantly. While we are used to see Tucci is sweet roles, in this one while he doesn’t have many dialogues, he does manage to put a chill down your spine. Susan Sarandon is pure joy to watch and Marc Walbergh and Rachel Weisz manage to bring out some sincerity to their parts as well. I would suggest that you watch this movie with an open mind because while you might think you are going to watch a criminal suspense drama, it would surprise you on a lot of levels.