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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #512 (Vol. 11, No. 3). This edition is for the week of January 11--17, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Lovely Bones"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"The Lovely Bones"  by Mike Smith
Kingdom of the Spiders  by ED Tucker
Comic Book Craze Part 1: The Marvel Years  by Chris Woods
Toy Shopping in Japan: Toy R Us Osaka  by Jason Fetters
Hypocrite Part Ii .... Movie Notes .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 2 hours 15 mins

“My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name, Susie. I was fourteen years old when I was murdered on December 6th, 1973.” These words, spoken quietly, are the introduction to what I easily consider the best film of 2009…”The Lovely Bones.” Skillfully directed and powerfully acted, the film is a visually stunning look at life, death and, most of all, love.

Susie Salmon (Ronan) is a typical 14 year old girl in 1973. She enjoys photography, loves David Cassidy and longs for her first kiss. Her parents are loving and supportive.
Dad (Wahlberg) enjoys the challenge of building model ships in bottles. Mom (Rachel Weisz) has gone from reading such authors as Camus and Virginia Woolf to studying the parenting techniques of Dr. Spock. She has a younger brother and sister that she adores. One night, Susie is late for dinner. Assuming a school function has made her tardy, the family eats their dinner and jokes about how many lima beans Susie will find on her plate when she returns. Only she never does.

Based on the novel by Alice Sebold, “The Lovely Bones” is a true classic, testifying with no apologies to the true power of love. Even though she is dead, Susie refuses to go on to heaven, instead taking residence in a place known as “the in between.” While here she can keep an eye on her family, trying her best to help them get over their grief. She also is able to keep an eye on her killer (Tucci), setting up some of the films’ most powerful scenes. The film is perfectly cast. Ronan was pretty much an unknown before being cast. Since then she’s already received an Oscar nomination for her work in “Atonement” and may earn her second nomination before she’s 16. Wahlberg is excellent as the grieving father, refusing to bury his daughter’s memory and doing his best to keep her “alive” in his heart. Michael Imperioli is solid as the police detective investigating the case. But the true star here is Tucci. After many years delivering solid work as a character actor Tucci emerged this year as Julia Child’s husband in “Julie and Julia.” Here he delivers an Oscar worthy performance . In fact, I’m calling the race for Best Supporting Actor a two man race between Tucci and “Inglorious Basterds” Christoph Waltz. The production design, especially the scenes taking place in the “in between,” are breathtaking and kudos to director Jackson and his world famous WETA special effects group. Composer Brian Eno’s score perfectly echoes the emotions on screen.

Counting the films in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy separately, Peter Jackson made three of the best films of the past decade. With “The Lovely Bones,” that number jumps to four. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give “The Lovely Bones”


This week's movie review of "The Lovely Bones" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.