Something drew me to The Lovely Bones. That something is Saoirse Ronan (pronounced sur-shuh). Oscar nominated for Atonement (at age 12), she made the unwatchable City of Ember tolerable. I put her on my mental list of actors to watch, so, when I saw her face all over the ads for The Lovely Bones, I knew I had to go.
Until I saw that it was directed by Peter Jackson. Jackson made some of the worst movies of all time - King Kong (2005) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy - so I just refuse to see his movies, but Saoirse won out. And it worked out.
The Lovely Bones is probably a great novel but made only a decent movie. It completely lost track during the fantasy scenes and being set in the 1970s was just odd, but was dead-on when focusing on the people. Saoirse's Susie is murdered early on and spends much of her time in a Technicolor limbo. Her father and little sister try to solve the murder, practically destroying their family in the process.
While I went in because I believed in the talent of Saoirse Ronan, I walked out with another entry on my actor-to-watch list. Rose McIver, the younger sister, played her damaged teenager so effortlessly and completely, I felt I was watching an actual person. Let's just hope she avoids Peter Jackson movies in the future. No amount of talent or charisma can compensate for giant worms and unnecessary special effects.