Thursday, February 14, 2008

We Can't Wait #11 The Lovely Bones

Directed by some unknown ...goes by "Peter Jackson" (name?)
Starring Briony from Atonement, Sgt Dignam from The Departed and Mrs. Darren Aronofsky
Synopsis A murder victim watches her killer and family from heaven
Brought to you by Dreamworks, Paramount and Wingnut Films
Expected Release Date Post-production is apparently going to go long on this one. We're hearing March 2009. Damn. Defeats the point of it being on this list. sigh

Nathaniel: For those who lived under a rock back when The Lovely Bones was a bestseller it's about a girl (Saoirse Ronan) who is murdered --no spoiler, just the plot setup --and watches her parents (Mark Wahlberg & Rachel Weisz) and the murderer from her afterlife as the murder investigation unfolds and her family deals with their substantial grief. Though the novel teeters close to gooey sentiment here and there, I really enjoyed it when I read it.

When I heard that Peter Jackson was taking the reigns I thought "ooh, great. something small. something young girl focused --something to remind me of how great Heavenly Creatures was" and then I thought. Er... King Kong was so bloated as if The Lord of the Rings (which I loved) had ruined his notions of scale and dramatic precision... and couldn't The Lovely Bones go really overboard with its visualization of heaven. And then I began to worry...

Glenn: I have not read the book - perhaps I will this year - so I don't really know what to expect. To be honest, the idea of a girl looking down from heaven sounds a bit like a kooky comedy that would have starred Whoopi Goldberg in that period of the '90s where she made a lot of movies like Eddie and The Associate. Perhaps her character had lost a lot of money on wall street and decided she didn't want to live so Heaven sent somebody down to SWAP with her so she could experience what it was like only to learn that if she ended her life she would never be able to meet the love of her life or hold her grandchild!

...wait. I got off track there. I'm looking forward to The Lovely Bones mostly for Jackson's return to (hopefully, natch) intimate filmmaking. And maybe Saiorse Ronan can continue to prove she's actually a 75-year-old woman in a child's body! That gives me another idea for a wacky comedy..

MaryAnn: Haven't read the book, but I'm onboard for *anything* Peter Jackson does. And after Atonement, I can't wait to see if Saoirse Ronan was a one-hit wonder or if she's got real staying power.

Gabriel: Glenn, I've been laughing for five minutes at your Whoopi Goldberg career summation. :-) However, my guess is that this movie will try to mix magic into its murder story, rather than's a fragile story with delicate story points, and too much humor would probably kill it. I personally am intrigued to see Mark Wahlberg, who hopped into the film at the last minute when Ryan Gosling dropped out. But if there's anyone who thinks this isn't going to be successful, I offer this formula: Peter Jackson + Bestselling Book + Likeable Stars + Oscar Contender=Box Office Hit.

Nathaniel: Joe sat this discussion out. Perhaps he knew not to expect this until 2009? It's filming now. Have you read the book? Are you ready for a Jackson drama after all these fantasy epics?

<-- Sister Aloysius prays for your wicked soul if you haven't been reading the "we can't wait" countdown #1 Synecdoche, New York / #2 Burn After Reading / #3 Australia / #4 Milk / #5 Blindness / # 6 Doubt / #7 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / #8 Revolutionary Road / #9 The Dark Knight / #10 Sex & The City: The Movie / #11 The Lovely Bones / #12 Wall-E / #13 Stop-Loss / #14 The Women / #15 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince / Introduction / Orphans


Anonymous said...

Perfect inclusion for the "We Can't Wait" series.

I'm looking forward so much to seeing The Lovely Bones.

ant said...

I love this series!

I haven't read the Lovely Bones, but Heavenly Creatures had its own representations of Heaven, errr the Fourth World rather, which I thought added rather than detracted to the intimacy of the movie.

Is it true they fired Ryan Gosling because he gained too much weight for the role?

Anonymous said...

Actually Ryan was too young and they didn't see how they could work it.

I read the book and I'm not looking forward to this as much as I was before I read it. I just thought it was okay.



i believe the party line is that he was releived of his role because they had cast too young (gosling with a 15 year old daughter is a little weird) but that's EXACTLY what happened to peter jackson with his original ARAGORN so you'd think he'd learn from that?

Anonymous said...

Haven't read the book, but I'm not so sure this could be considered a "return" to intimate filmmaking for Jackson. Grand in scale, yes, but few films are as intimate to me as The Lord of the Rings.

SusanP said...

Definitely looking forward to this as well.

I'm one of those people who loved King Kong despite its excess and as for Rings well, only my favorite films of the decade.

I think Jackson can easily nail the intimacy of this story. I imagine it will be very haunting and sad. The influences of Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens will also be a key factor.

And yes, it is odd that Jackson casted "too young" again. I guess Gosling just sounded good on paper and it wasn't clear that he'd be too young. I know when I read he was attached to the project I was excited. But I'm equally excited about Mark Walberg.

Great series, Nat & Company--it is really making me excited for this year's films.

Kamila said...

"The Lovely Bones" is one of my favorite books ever and I can't wait to see this adaptation.

I think Peter Jackson made a HUGE mistake casting Rachel Weisz and Mark Walhberg as the parents. I think they are younger for the roles.

Deborah said...

I have no love for Marky Mark, but he keeps getting cast by great directors in great things.

I loved the book, I trust Jackson, and I'm hoping.

Anonymous said...

I think this will be a 2009 release... They shot the first portion in my area (outside Philadelphia) and moved on to New Zealand to finish the rest.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Weisz ain't no Mrs. Darren, Nat. Darren is Mr. Oscar Winner Weisz.

If you wanted a nickname.... Tessa Quayle.


anonymous --i'll take Aronofsky's contribution to film any day over Weisz.

i'm just sayin'

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to this one, but I'm nervous too. I find it difficult to imagine in film form the fluid movement between Heaven and Earth. It's a great book (although I'm not a fan of the manner in which it ends) but like Kamila I have concerns about the casting. The parents really should be older than Rachel and Mark, and Susan Sarandon is also a bit on the young side to be playing the grandmother. Yes, the character is a non-traditional grandmother and slightly hip, but the story starts with kids in their early teens and progresses for about a decade. Not that any of that will stop me from seeing it.

Anonymous said...

Wait... Wahlberg and Weisz are both 36, so what's up with the comments that they're too young to play the parents of a 14 year old girl?

Anyway, this could be great.

Anonymous said...

will this be the film o give sarandon an oscar nod shame about her msiing out for in the valley of elah i thought she was superb bettter than dee and redgrave who gave cameo supp perfs.

Kamila said...

Steve, in the book, you can tell that Mr. and Mrs. Salmon are older than 36!

Dennis Quaid and Robin Wright-Penn were the perfect Mr. and Mrs. Salmon.

And Shirley MacLaine was born to play the grandma.

But we gotta trust in Peter Jackson...

Anonymous said...

Sarandon's almost 63, so in what language is that on the young side of grandmotherhood? At that age, she could conceivably be a GREAT-grandmother.

Wahlberg and Weisz do seem a little young, but again they too could realistically be parents of a 14 year old girl.

Looking forward to seeing this in March 2009!


Anonymous said...

I don't remember how their ages were described in the book... I don't remember there being much of an impression. But this is an adaptation. And at 36 you're certainly old enough to play even older than that.

Maybe people are thinking they're too pretty to be parents of a 14 year old girl? Cuz that's probably true.

Unknown said...

This is great fun. I read The Lovely Bones. The depiction of heaven was a bit much for my non-theistic belief system but I thought overall it was a good read.

Mark Wahlberg isn't that young! Is everyone remembering him in Boogie Nights? That was ten years ago.