Since The Lovely Bones will be released on film soon (January 15, 2010, according to IMDB), I though I would re-read Alice Sebold‘s novel The Lovely Bones in order to, well. Ruin the film for me, probably. I had to stop re-reading Harry Potter books before the movie launches, because it made the movies impossibly dull for me. Re-reading The Lovely Bones was probably a bad call, but since I did really like the book, I thought I would share my hopes for the film with all of you. I’ve done zero reading up on it, so some of this information may already be available in the press. I apologize if this is redundant.
First, I want heaven to remain a strong part of the movie. A visual presence; I don’t just want Susie narrating the story. Too weird and too hokey for some people, maybe, but it’s a brilliant storytelling risk that Sebold took, and it paid off and made The Lovely Bones what it was; without it, the movie might as well be any depressing story about a family falling apart.
Second, I hate the whole second half of The Lovely Bones. It’s disjointed and the scenes are too sparse. I’d like to see better balance and cohesion from the film. To translate this from page to screen, I think the whole movie is going to have to be more like the second half of the film. The rich, long, emotionally vibrant and complex first half of the book (that I love) is probably going to need to be quicker-paced, and will need to rely on the actors’ performances for emotional depth.
Finally, I hope that the children are central to the movie. With big-name grown-up stars Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, and Susan Sarandon on board, I doubt that this will happen, but some of the quirkiest, most interesting moments were the children’s doing. Though I fully expect Sarandon to knock it out of the park as the boozy grandma, I hope it’s not at the expense of Lindsey, Buck, and Susie’s friends.