WORDS AND PICTURES BY MATTHEW PEJKOVIC
Peter Jackson, Susan Sarandon, and Saoirse Ronan walked the red carpet at the Sydney premiere of the supernatural thriller, The Lovely Bones.
Based upon the popular novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones centres on the murder of 14 year old teen Suzie (Ronan), who looks on from the afterlife as her parents (Mark Wahlberg & Rachel Weisz) struggle with their loss and her killer (Stanley Tucci) eludes capture.
Director/co-writer Peter Jackson (of The Lord of the Rings fame) spoke to Matt’s Movie Reviews on the process he undertakes when adapting someone else’s material, stating: “When you are adapting, you are not trying to figure out what every reader of the book wants to see, which impossible. Nor are you trying to make a carbon copy of the book, because the book is The Lovely Bones, and if someone wants the proper master of the story you get Alice Sebold’s novel, and that is what you get. You get everything she wrote and it’s all there. The movie is a personal adaptation of the parts of the novel as they affected us, so it really just filtered through our sensibility.”
With the films main character stuck in limbo between Earth and heaven, Saoirse Ronan had to contend with Jackson’s SFX wizardry, often working in front of a blue screen, an experience which the Oscar nominated actress spoke about: “It was a bit weird. It wasn’t difficult, though. (Jackson) would actually talk to me during takes, and would describe what was going to be in the background, or what was going to be around me, so I could react to that. We played music, as well, that would reflect the mood of the scene. They made it very easy for me. “
With the afterlife offering a vast range of visual possibilities, Jackson took inspiration from “the imagination and sort of subconscious state of Suzie, this girl who gets murdered. We based it on a psychological headspace rather than a practical location, so you are seeing very much her dreams and her, almost like psychedelic imagination of what’s happening to her. “
Oscar winning actress Susan Sarandon (who plays support as Suzie’s pill popping grandma), also spoke of how she became involved with the film: “I read the novel way before Peter asked me to do it. So I wasn’t reading it thinking of playing anybody, I just read it because I heard it was an interesting book. And then Peter sent me a letter, a really lovely letter, explaining why he thought I was right for it, and what he wanted the part to accomplish, and why he was excited. “
The Lovely Bones will be released on December 26th through Paramount Pictures.