With having looked at many mixed reviews before buying this DVD, I wondered whether I had made a mistake. However it was a gamble that (for me) paid off.
Throughout the film, the portrayal of grief, hope and the battle to get closure from Susie's death fascinated me. I thought the performances from Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg as the heartbroken parents were fantastic, especially their portrayal showing the transition of emotions from the happy, family meal at the dinner time scenes to the sudden fear and realisation that something awful had happened to their daughter. The panic shown was truely believable, as too was the different ways the family dealt with their loss.
The casting of Saoirse Ronan as Susie Salmon was pure genius and her narration provided a lovely ending with a real sense of closure for her character. But for me Stanley Tucci's chilling performance as George Harvey is the most outstanding aspect of this film. Having seen him in many other films playing the nice guy, I could not believe it was the same person. From the look in his eyes, to his habit of adjusting his glasses, to his body language; he really got into the role of his character. So much so, some of the scenes made me feel very uncomfortable but captivated at the same time.
Having read the book, there are some similarities and differences, but like with all films, I prefer not to compare a book to it's film. I will definately be watching this film again on numerous occasions.