My interest in The Lovely Bones just went up.


This may be old news to some people, but I just read this story by the Associated Press which notes that Saoirse Ronan, who is so compelling as the young Briony Tallis in Atonement, is playing the lead role in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones. I am suddenly quite a bit more interested in this film than I was before.

In semi-related news, Variety magazine recently ran an article on the curious similarities between Atonement and The Kite Runner, both of which feature “a terrible transgressive act by a child,” after which “the wronged parties are condemned to suffer through war and turmoil, while the children who wronged them — both of whom grow up to be writers — become aware of their ‘crimes’ as they mature and must make amends for their wrongs.”

Variety doesn’t mention it, exactly, but both films also feature the rape of a minor — as does The Lovely Bones, apparently. (Believe it or not, the rape is not the “terrible transgressive act” in either of the two films examined by Variety; in both cases, the rape is committed by someone else, and it is the catalyst for the “terrible transgressive act” committed by the child in question.)

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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