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A heartwarming attempt at an disheartening story
January 6th, 2010 [10:54:08]
 8/10

otis: I will say outright that I have not read the book, so I cannot base the movie on anything else. Peter Jackson has a unique way of showcasing the negative and positive of a moment and leaving it objectively frozen in time. However, that effect comes off as aesthetically beautiful and at the same time slightly undeserving of a tear jerking sentiment. The entire movie acts as a voyeuristic approach of the day of little Susie Salmon's murder, and the years thereafter, showcasing the effects of that death in a blurry, airy way. But it's as if the audience were sneakily witnessing girls changing in the locker room through thick glasses that didn't match anyone's prescription. In the "between place" place where Susie goes, we get a glimpse of Jackson's skewed yet intensely brilliant vision in fine detail as if we were walking through a collage of Dali art. From there, apparently she sees a myriad of events as they unfold on Earth, and finds a way to connect with her entire family through reflections in glass (creepy by the by). Through Susie's narration, we see firsthand the murderer himself (although we never fully see the murder firsthand), safeguarding himself by precisely covering up his tracks and planning his next victim, or as Susie calls it, his "itch".
The cast of this movie is directed with perfection. Gone are the days of the Happening, we can finally see Mark Wahlberg at his best acting once again as Susie's stalwart, grieving father. Newcomer Saoirse Ronan, fresh off the press of Atonement, delivers in innocence and breath-taking beauty as 13-year-old Susie. Rachel Weiss and Susan Surandon are at best secendary characters in this saga yet still create a presence. And Stanley Tucci encaptures so well the precisely creepy, perverted neighbor that I don't know if I would ever invite him to a barbeque.

To cut things short without giving away too much, the ending is the only thing that I will have to think about- in terms of message, the "take-away", what have you. It wasn't a typical Hollywood ending, so I was left with a nostalgic plea for it to end the way I wanted it to end, but alas- Jackson delivers a story that I will have to think about for years to come.

Movie to the Book
June 25th, 2010 [10:41:50]
 10/10

Baby D: I have tried to read the book twice and listen to it once and have failed to finish it all three times, but I can come up with one conclusion. Only about half of he book is in the movie. The depiction of Heaven within the movie and the book are complete opposites. The scenes of Earth stay the same mostly with a few differences. All in all only partially like the book.


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