The bones were not lovely. "I was murdered on December 6, 1973," is the explanation by the precious 14 year old Susie Salmon (Saoirse "Atonement" Ronan). The screenplay is adapted from the book by Alice Sebold and it is set in a quiet town in Pennsylvania before lost children's "faces appeared on milk cartons."
Much of the movie is from Susie's perspective from heaven or more appropriately the "Blue Horizon". As she watched her murderer continue with his life next door to her parents and brother and sister, did she influence the earthly events? Or did she merely suffer from her memories and anxiety of her terrible grief. And the grief by her parents was gut-wrenching.
Susie is brutally murdered on the way home from school by the creepy next door neighbor George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). Tucci's makeup and costume disguised his well-known face and features and will cause some to fail to identify him. However, I knew the despicable character was Stanley Tucci and still could relate to him because Tucci's performance was off-the-chart good. He is one of my frontrunners for Best Supporting Actor.
The movie is riveting and intriguing but Director "The Hobbit" Jackson took me down too many paths that I did not want to go. I don't care if he followed the book or not; I did not enjoy the movie on any plane other than witnessing evil in a spooky presentation. I give Jackson high marks for movie-making but the entertainment level of movies is all about me and I was not entertained.
The highlight was the acting. Tucci set the bar high, but Susie's parents Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz were up for the task as was Grandma Lynn played by Susan Sarandon. But as I've said many times, "great acting" can not save a story that does not equally support the characters. Perhaps I should not go to these kinds of movies; and perhaps you should not go to these kinds of movies, either. And I will never watch it again.