An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
A fourteen-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.
In Alice Sebold's original novel, a disturbing rape scene is recounted in great detail, an experience that Sebold had as a young woman. Writer, Producer, and Director Peter Jackson chose to omit this section of the story, feeling that the re-enactment of the ordeal would have not just overwhelmed this movie, but been too traumatic a sequence for the young Saoirse Ronan to endure. Alice Sebold reportedly disagreed with this omission. Stanley Tucci, for his part, claimed that it was difficult enough for him to play scenes in which George was thinking about molesting Susie, and that he never would have agreed to perform an actual rape scene. See more »
Grandfather clock shown in scenes is made by Sansui, who weren't making clocks in 1977. 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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I have read the book. I loved it, I thought it was both chilling and heartbreaking with a fine story and credible characters. I do think it is much better than the film, which was solid enough but lacking a strong emotional core.
I will start with the film's faults. The story is a very intriguing one, but it is quite slow complete with holes and any parts that strived to be heartbreaking came across as mawkish. The script is quite weak often, particularly with Susan Sarandon's character in the sense that it is never quite sure which direction it wants to go. But what hurt the film most was some aspects of Peter Jackson's direction. Jackson is a good director don't get me wrong, but he does make some decisions that detract from the impact of the story rather than enhance it. Especially with the CGI, not that it was bad CGI in fact it looked quite good, what I mean was that there was a complete overload of it and I think some of it was unnecessary.
However, the film does look absolutely beautiful, with beautiful scenery and cinematography. The score gives a haunting, eerie and intoxicating quality too. While the story is flawed, there is a good atmosphere especially in the more chilling scenes, where they are quite chilling and that's an understatement. Apart from two performances, the acting is quite good. The best performance comes from the very promising child actress Saiorse Ronan, who is just tremendous here. Stanley Tucci is very chillingly effective too, and Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly good. The two performances I wasn't so taken with were Rachel Weisz, who is wasted, and the normally solid Susan Sarandon, who overplays quite badly.
All in all, an okay if inferior adaptation. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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