There is plenty of criticism to fling at the article written on The Quietus this week by Josh Saco seemingly in defence of Peter Jackson, currently drowining under a flood of criticism for his The Lovely Bones adaptation. Just for the purpose of keeping this simple, I’ll concentrate on the assertions made about the film itself and its place in Jackson’s body of work.
“In The Lovely Bones he plays out his darkest, most macabre, and most mature film to date, exploring the afterlife and life in ways he never has before.”
I would agree that Jackson definitely explores the afterlife in ways he, indeed no one, has done before. Jackson’s CGI-rendered afterlife, or ‘In-Between’, involves shifting landscapes of mountains, perfect green grass and glistening bodies of water. The CGI (and I realise how much I have marked myself out as a luddite-misanthrope as regards this technology) is unbelievably poor for the man behind the creation of Golem. There are moments in which it resembles a PS1-era edition of Final Fantasy, while the man appears pathologically intent on using effects work even when simply having a camera move through a window. Not a spectacular, otherworldly window, just a basic window which could have been built without even one computer in the room.
Outside of the painfully awkward intro from Peter Jackson at the top of this trailer, this looks to be a pretty solid effort. The trailer seems to try and fit in everything and the kitchen sink into its runtime. The story, about a young girl who is murdered and the aftermath of her death for her family and friends, seems to be nearly wholly included in the two-and-a-bit minutes of the clip.
Jackson has certainly not tried to shy away from tacking the puratory-representations which are likely to cause a very, very minor stir here and there, although on the small screen of the trailer it looks like a better attempt than achievement.
The worry originally for most would have been the replacement of Ryan Gosling as the father with Marky Mark Wahlberg. Argue for eternity, if you see fit, that he was good in Boogie Nights and The Departed (the latter most just shouting and the former primarily playing dumb), but Wahlberg just ain’t the actor Gosling is. However, the trailer puts him in quite a reasonable light and, given his own parenthood, could allow him to bring something to the role which Gosling would have had to create rather than draw upon.
The book is one of my co-host’s favourites from the past few years so I’ll be interested to gauge his opinion when he returns from his Spanish sojourn, but for now I’ll give some backing to this. The cast is strong and, although the trailer plays up the melodrama and latter thriller elements a little too much, this has solid stock and should prove a good bet.
Empire has a photo from Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the acclaimed The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. The picture is purportedly part of the afterlife vision created for the film by Jackson, an exciting prospect in itself for the potential that it may well be a visual feast.
Check out the picture below and in full size on Empire’s site.