Director Peter Jackson’s new movie The Lovely Bones has been chosen for this year’s Royal Gala screening at London’s Leicester Square in late November.
This is a world charity premiere in aid of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund two months before the scheduled release date. Now this may not mean much unless you have a ticket, but it does give us an excuse to revisit the film’s trailer. Watch it HERE
The Lovely Bones is set in 1973, retaining its retro setting from Alice Sebold’s 2002 source novel. A fantastical yet emotionally challenging idea, the plot concerns young Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) who is raped and murdered by her neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). Stuck between this life and the next, Susie is able to observe her family in their grief. She is also ‘haunted’ by the man who murdered her, laden with the knowledge that, having gotten away with his crime; he is planning to kill again.
Not an easy sell then. Though as evident in the trailer, Peter Jackson seems to be applying the same gentle touch of whimsy he did with The Lord of the Rings trilogy and to a lesser extent King Kong (2005).
Costume designer for The Lovely Bones, Nancy Steiner, is well-known for creating kooky looks for kooky characters. One only has to see her contribution to Little Miss Sunshine (2006) or Funny People (2009) to grasp that. Thankfully most kooky looks take inspiration from the thrown together mix and match style of the 1970s. Judging by her earlier work on The Virgin Suicides (1999), ‘inspired by’ to full-on ‘period’ should not be too great a leap for Steiner.
Based on the trailer we can gather that The Lovely Bones is set during winter and that the fashions on display will reflect this. A rainbow jacket here, a knitted bobble hat there; along with era staples such as tight rollnecks, high-waisted jeans and heavily conditioned hair.
Nice to see Mr. Mark Wahlberg back in seventies garb. It has been twelve years since Boogie Nights and Wahlberg may be older and broader but he can wear this look like a jacket. Saoirse Ronan too is bolstered by the typical bright primary colours of the era. The premise of this film prevents it from being a ‘happy’ experience as such, but the costumes at least can imply a heaven for Susie that reflects her juvenile, zestful soul.
It is probably not going too far out on a limb to suggest that The Lovely Bones will be an Oscar winner. Possibly for costumes (they are period after all), though most likely for director. Back in Heavenly Creatures-type territory instead of event movie mode, Jackson is free from the confines of fast food tie-ins and viral promotions. In other words, there is no reason why this shouldn’t be anything other than brilliant.
The Lovely Bones is released nationwide on 15th January in the US and 29th January in the UK.
© 2009 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.