Lovely Bones Trailer Proves Worth the One-Day Wait

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Now this is more like it: The heart-racing anticipation spurred by Tuesday's 30-second tease pays off this morning as the world has its first look at the actual trailer for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. Everything you hoped for -- with the notable exception of Entertainment Tonight's insistent, self-promotional narration -- is here, and now we can get down to the real business of waiting for the full-length adaptation coming this December. Unless, that is, you still don't buy Mark Wahlberg's raging wig and some of the other, finer points Jackson and Co. are selling in their tightly packaged peek at one girl's afterlife.

By now you know the story, based on Alice Sebold's bestseller about a murdered 14-year-old girl (played here by Saoirse Ronan), her grieving family and their spiritual collaboration to nab her killer (a heavily disguised Stanley Tucci). The trailer devotes a good chunk of time to that set-up, establishing the breezy idyll of their suburban household and its subsequent deterioration at the news of young Susie's death. But this isn't In the Bedroom; teary-eyed introspection is secondary to obsession, and obsession seems secondary to the sprawling CGI landscapes of the "Inbetween" from which Susie lends her investigative aid.

So it's a thriller and a fantasy, we're advised, with touches of swoony teen romance sprinkled in for the Twilight quadrant. It's a deft bit of salesmanship on DreamWorks' part -- much more convincing than vengeful Papa Wahlberg, anyhow, who looks about the same age as Ronan herself and stops the trailer cold with one moody, classically Jacksonesque brow-furrow after another. (A role swap with the more lived-in police detective Michael Imperioli might have been worth a try.)

And if all you're after are the visual effects, then of course Jackson won't let you down, just as long as you're OK with heaven looking like the love child of Terrence Malick and Delgo. Which, let's face it, is reason enough to crave the finished, Oscar-chasing product for yet another four months.

VERDICT: Sold!



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