The Lovely Bones

Photo via IMDb

After powering my way through Alice Sebold’s brilliant novel The Lovely Bones last week, I was excited to see the film version because this book had been such a great read. I had a hard time ever putting it down.

While I never really expect films to live up to the books that they are based on, you never know, and sometimes they actually do an amazing job with the adaptation (i.e. Cider House Rules, The Hours).

I’m not going to say that The Lovely Bones is a terrible movie. It’s visually impressive and soundly acted, but I do think it’s also quite misguided. And I’m stumped, as I so often am, as to why somebody thought this book should be a movie.  I held out hope that Peter Jackson would be able to balance the same intense themes as the novel, but it was all for naught: his big-screen version is ambitious, but it only shares such a small fraction of the story. Granted, I did just finish the novel yesterday so the details are all fresh in my mind. The changes and omissions made to the story probably bothered me even more on account of this.

Alice Sebold’s book is about things that we don’t want to see — like a little girl’s rape and murder — and about things we can’t see: what goes on in the heads of those left behind, which is often very different from what they’re saying and doing; and what might happen to the soul of a child, who just might be able to watch over her loved ones from someplace else. The book is a delicate, elaborate balancing act that works marvelously; Sebold writes in a way that draws us in to a sort of magical world she weaves with words. But it’s not meant to be taken literally — and Peter Jackson’s heavy-handed, CGI-laden vision really falls short, in my opinion. Jackson, whose visionary filmmaking has earned him massive acclaim in the past, creates a heaven of brilliant, surreal landscapes in which Susie and her fellow dead frolic. The best aspects of Sebold’s novel, though, are the poignant, sometimes illicit relationships that formed in the wake of Susie’s murder. The film focuses far too much on the fantastic Inbetween and not enough on earth. Susie’s family deals with her death each  in their own ways, as all grieving people do. However, either to shorten the film’s length or secure a PG-13 rating, Jackson skips or glosses over many of the aspects of the novel that made it so horrific and beautiful. The result, as with so many book-to-film adaptations, is a pretty, superficial muddle.

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Style And Grace

Photo via models.com

After what seemed like an eternity of anticipation, I finally watched The September Issue.

I loved it even more than I thought I would.

My favourite player?

Grace Coddington.

She’s American Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s right hand woman. She is easily the world’s most influential fashion editor, famous for transforming photographic spreads into narratives, a signature she pioneered in the 1970s at British Vogue. Although other magazines have since adopted this style, Grace pulls it off with a witty, modern romanticism that makes readers feel they are flipping through a picture book instead of just looking at shots of models in pretty clothing.

I found myself absolutely in awe of the divine Ms. Coddington as I watched the film. Her passion and artistic integrity are truly an inspiration. Brilliant much?

Grace is absolutely fabulous.

Photo via Infatuation Rehab

Jenni Tumbles

It seems that I just don’t have time to blog like I used to. Of course I still love to write, so when time allows and I feel inspired to do so, I will continue to post entries here. Additionally, I’ve decided to take a more “micro-blogging” approach and have started a Tumblr page: Jenni Tumbles. My plan is to use the new page as a kind of online scrapbook, if you will. Less writing, more photos, inspiration, quotes and cool things that I come across and want to share. I’d love for you all to check it out.