Filmmaker Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame, spends too much time and energy in heaven (or is it purgatory?), tromping through fields of flowers with newly deceased teenage sex-murder victim Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan from Atonement) – who actually orchestrates her revenge on the murderer (Stanley Tucci in creepy mode) from up there in the heavenly glades while her parents (Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz) grieve for her down below. Much more interesting than CGI in paradise are the earthly interactions of Susie, her family, and her friends in their Seventies-era Pennsylvania suburb before she falls prey. Director/co-writer Jackson – he adapted Alice Sebold’s novel with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens – handled this same basic type of material much more convincingly in his 1994 drama Heavenly Creatures. Also with Susan Sarandon and Michael Imperioli (135 min.).
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: Alice Sebold and Peter Jackson
Producer: Carolynne Cunningham
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Saoirse Ronan, Michael Imperioli, Amanda Michalka, Nikki SooHoo, Rose McIver and Carolyn Dando