A 14-year-old girl in suburban 1970's Pennsylvania is murdered by her neighbor. She tells the story from the place between Heaven and Earth, showing the lives of the people around her and how they have changed all while attempting to get someone to find her lost body. Written by
Helen Hunt was reportedly considered for the role of Abigail Salmon. Instead, Rachel Weisz accepted the role, and was the first actor cast in the film. See more »
In Susie's photo album that her father flips through, there is a picture of a Smurf figurine at the top of the right page. While Smurf figures were around in the 70s, that particular Smurf (a singing "rocker" Smurf with a microphone) wasn't released until the late 1990s. See more »
I remember being really small; too small to see over the edge of a table. There was a snow globe, and I remember the penguin who lived inside the globe. He was all alone in there, and I worried for him.
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A very unconventional movie that crosses many genres (murder/suspense/thriller/drama/fantasy), defies normal expectations and is an intense emotional experience. Right from the outset you are informed of when the lead character will be murdered and who her killer is but you are still kept on the edge of your seat and surprised by later revelations. The story dovetails between reality (before and after the murder) and a surreal afterlife realm in between Heaven and Earth. Despite the tragic, heart-wrenching and dark subject matter, the film is uplifting, captivating and hauntingly beautiful throughout. As the credits rolled, I ran through a gamut of emotion and found aspects of the film resonated with me long after.
It is difficult to conceive as to why this movie was critically panned. I can only surmise that either the story didn't follow the source material closely (I have not read the book) or viewers didn't appreciate the story being told from the perspective of a 13 year old girl or critics were just being spiteful towards a successful director (Directed by Peter Jackson and produced by Steven Spielberg).
(a) Original, imaginative, creative story / screenplay. (b) Authentic, well-drawn, endearing characters. (c) Thrilling & entertaining from start to finish. (d) A visual masterpiece - both from a cinematic perspective and a CGI/special effects perspective. Definitely warrants viewing in HD (Blu-Ray). (e) Superlative lead actors: Saoirse Ronan, Stanley Tucci. (f) Solid supporting actors: Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg. (g) Subtle but powerful soundtrack. (h) Thematically rich and filled with symbolism & metaphors.
(a) Childhood romantic relationships seem forced and only marginally believable. (b) Film appears to be heavily edited due to the long running time. Certain characters, scenes, and threads could have been fleshed out more. (c) The clairvoyant girl (Ruth) was a bit cliché & one-dimension. (d) Adequate resolution of killer's fate but not deeply satisfying.
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