The first reviews for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bonesare beginning to pour in, and, naturally (for a popular, fan-friendly director like Jackson), there are the raves (Harry Knowles from AICN) and the pans (Todd McCarthy from Variety). Just posted this evening over at Variety, McCarthy's review is perhaps the hardest one to swallow. Essentially his biggest problem with the movie were the effects, claiming Jackson uses them way too much (and too often) for a film (and story) that doesn't really require them. He calls it "show-offy" and says the film "rates as a significant artistic disappointment." It's an unfortunate review for a film that was a shoe-in (and still may be, especially for Stanley Tucci) for multiple Oscar nods on almost everyone's list.
Some other quotes (no spoilers):
-- "This is an incredibly lovely film. From the visuals to the performances to the story-telling and film work... it all goes to capture a very powerful story in a way that makes you want to hug those close to you." -- Harry Knowles, AICN
-- "It's not that The Lovely Bones is a bad movie, exactly. It is handsomely made and strongly acted, while its woozy, lullaby ambience recalls Jackson's work on the brilliant Heavenly Creatures, before he set forth on his epic voyage through The Lord of the Rings." -- Xan Brooks, Guardian
-- "Peter Jackson's eagerly awaited film version of Alice Sebold's bestselling novel is sometimes exquisitely realised, sometimes frustratingly uneven. ... While The Lovely Bones is as dark as it gets thematically, it will still be an event movie for the adult audience." -- Mike Goodridge, Screen Daily
-- This was never going to be an easy story to film. Using the same characters and many events, Jackson and his team tell a fundamentally different story. It's one that is not without its tension, humor and compelling details. But it's also a simpler, more button-pushing tale that misses the joy and heartbreak of the original." -- Kirk Honeycutt, The Hollywood Reporter
The Lovely Bones hits theaters on December 11th.