Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Lovely Bones review

So last night I went with my friend Sarah to see a free screening of "The Lovely Bones." I got the tickets off a Facebook "free movie screenings in LA" group. The email from Facebook said that the first 50 people to respond would get 2 free tickets. They sent it at 2:52. I read it at 2:53. So I responded and got the tickets! Hooray Facebook! Hooray freebies!

I admit, I haven't actually read the book (I think I started it once, borrowing it from the library, but I think I thought it was too depressing and never finished it), so I didn't know exactly what I was getting myself into. I knew the basic premise (and if you don't want to know the basic premise, I suggest stopping here)--that a girl dies and the story is told by the ghost--but that's all I knew. So we went in pretty much blind.

Left USC 2 hours early for the movie in Burbank. It actually was right in that shopping mall that I went to with Mom! Got there in an hour, took forever to find the parking (though it was free, which was a perk. Free parking in Los Angeles never happens!) and got in line. There was already a big line wrapped all the way around the movie theater, probably about 100 people or so. Sarah grabbed us some pizza (SOOOOO yummy! Though maybe because we were starving. But "Zpizza" has the yummiest crust ever) and we finally got in the theater. I ended up sitting to a couple of college girls from LMU. We didn't know any of the same people, unfortunately.

We heard a big spiel from various librarians in the Los Angeles area about going to the libraries and family bonding. It was not that exciting. There were also some freebies given out to those screamed the loudest. I didn't scream. One of the freebies was a T-shirt. Had I known it was a Mary Poppins (not Lovely Bones... Mary Poppins) shirt I might have actually screamed. Maybe.

No previews! That was cool.

The movie itself was very well done. It wasn't sad, per se, though it wasn't particularly uplifting either. It had a melancholy mood about it. Because it's narrated by the ghost, I always felt a bit of a separation from the surviving family members, which is a good thing. I discussed this with Sarah, and we both agree it was the best way to create the movie. (Neither of us have read the book though, so I have no idea how it compares to the original.) Had we fallen into the emotions of the family, it would have become a sad melodrama, and the ending wouldn't have had the same impact. It'd be too hard to go from the complete despair of losing a loved one to having any possible happy ending. Not to say that this movie had a happy ending, exactly. It's more about the process and the journey these people went through.

Regardless, because the story is told through the ghost, it became a bit of a commentary on this journey. I want to say there's some connection to something we talked about in Paul Backer's class last year--Brechtian theater? Or something? I don't remember. But I wasn't living the lives of the family, I was definitely an observer. Just like the ghost-girl.

It was also interesting how they dealt with heaven and the "in-between." Interesting, in that they didn't delve into it. Not knowing much about religion myself, I'm not sure what else they could have done. But what they did, I thought was smart and beautiful.

I did tear up once, though. And I usually don't cry at movies. And there were moments when the audience actually started clapping, and then moments when they talked to the screen. It made me happy. There were also some little bits of humor during the really dark scenes, which made the mood a bit lighter. I definitely appreciated that bit of lightness, as a change from the overall dark feel of the film. And when I walked out, I felt like there was a weight on my chest. It's still there, actually.

Overall? I think this movie is worth seeing. The acting was really good, especially the creeeeeeeeeeepy old man--Stanley Tucci. I get shudders just thinking about his character. Yet he's the same guy who played the assistant in The Devil Wears Prada. It's amazing what actors can do; I didn't even recognize him! I only know that because it says so on IMDB. His IMBD page is actually ridiculous, he's apparently been in everything.

Anyway, that was my night last night. Much better than studying for the 2 finals I had today (philosophy and singing for experimentals). Gotta love LA--where else can you just go and see a random free screening? I want to get out and enjoy Los Angeles more, which is why I decided to randomly get tickets for this movie. I'm glad I did though.

Now time for something a little lighter. 5 minutes until Glee begins! So... good night!

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