Just as it can be argued that I tend to approach any Peter Jackson film with a guarded attitude (which really isn’t directed against Jackson as much as any director who incessantly underlines, over-emphasizes and over-cranks the visual razmatazz element as a way of beating his/her chest and saying “look at brilliant me!…look at what I can do!”), it can also be argued or at least suspected that AICN’s Harry Knowles is in the tank for Jackson, and has been there for many, many years.
Knowles has called The Lovely Bones an “incredibly lovely film.” He later says it “will be one of the films of the year,” adding that “some of Peter’s choices in adaptation could very well be hotly debated amongst readers of the book.” He also calls it “an incredibly powerful film, masterfully told and captured as only cinema in the hands of a consummate storyteller can tell it.”
High praise indeed. Harry clearly liked, admired, was touched. And yet I sense a certain caution in the choice of the word “lovely.” I know that on those rare occasions when I see a film that has really knocked me down and turned me around, the word “lovely” never comes to mind. Calling a film ‘lovely” is like saying the girl you went on a blind date last night with has “a terrific personality.”
A little man inside Harry’s chest is telling him, “Go for it, man…you were touched by the film and you should say that. Definitely. Just don’t….well, you know what I mean. Don’t write a full-bodied ecstatic cartwheel rolling-orgasm flutter rave. Save that shit for when you’re feeling it 110% on something really and truly over-the-mountain awesome. We love Peter and Bones is so touching and sad…it is, really…but just, you know, keep things in proportion.”