Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The first trailer is online for Peter Jackson's upcoming film The Lovely Bones, and it looks fantastic.
I am about to commit geek heresy and admit that I wasn't that crazy about Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. I thought they were great-looking, well-acted, extremely long movies with lots and lots of battles and not enough Gollum. And they frustrated me, because I knew Jackson was capable of better things.
Jackson's had a peculiar career. He got his start with gross-out zombie comedies in his native New Zealand, then he totally changed course with Heavenly Creatures in 1994, a wrenching, visually stunning docudrama about two New Zealand schoolgirls whose obsessive, shared fantasy life led them to commit murder. It featured a breakout performance by a young Kate Winslet and turned Jackson into a star director in the art-house scene... And then he changed course yet again, with the Michael J. Fox supernatural comedy misfire, The Frighteners. I was a huge Creatures fan and I kept hoping that he'd take on another project that challenging. But after The Frighteners he went off to do the Rings pictures and King Kong, then he signed on to The Hobbit and it looked like that was it for him - he was just going to make big, noisy epics from there on out.
So I was thrilled when the news hit that Jackson was adapting Alice Sebold's novel The Lovely Bones. The book is an intense, bittersweet story in which a murdered girl struggles to accept her own death and move on to whatever afterlife awaits her. This is exactly the sort of story I'd like to see Jackson take on, something more human-scale where his visual flights of fancy can really stand out. As you'll see in this clip, Jackson doesn't need armies of orcs to dazzle you.
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