Scriptwriter Philippa Boyens has described Alice Sebold's bestselling book The Lovely Bones as "brutal, surprising, gorgeous". A tale of murder and how the victim's family and friends try to deal with it, the story is told from the perspective of the victim — 14-year-old Susie Salmon. For the movie adaptation. Peter Jackson and his Weta FX team engaged in more Heavenly Creatures style world-building, rendering an afterlife for Susie that "alters and shifts" with her mood. Time praised the film's "gravity and grace", plus Saoirse Ronan's BAFTA-nominated performance as Susie.
Through Jackson's art and Ronan's magic, the obscenity of child murder has been invested with immense gravity and grace. Like the story of Susie's life after death, that's a miracle.– Richard Corliss in Time Magazine, 7 December 2009
Originally released in New Zealand cinemas 26 December 2009. Available on DVD.
Original music composed by Brian Eno
Soundtrack includes instrumental tracks The Killing Pit and Dark Siren, composed by Plan 9 and David Long. Other additional music composed by Victoria Kelly, Stephen Gallagher, Nigel Scott and Chris Winter.