The Big Picture - The Lovely Bones & Up in the Air

The Big Picture – The Lovely Bones & Up in the Air

By Mark HadleyMonday 4 Jan 2010

FILM: Up in the Air (releases nationally January 14)
The 21st century promises to have human beings traveling further, faster and more efficiently than ever before, but what are the implications for our relationships?

Up In The Air tells the story of Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) a corporate hatchet man and professional ‘firer’. Bingham’s job keeps him airborne so often that he has made an art form out of navigating terminals and accruing benefits. As a consequence his real life has become as distant to him as the ground beneath his Boeing.

Up In The Air has limited sex scenes and occasional language but is witty and insightful. Its real value, though, lies in its potential to remind us of a truth writ large in the Bible: ‘It is not good for man to be alone’ and any power-mantra, luxury or technological advance that tries to teach us otherwise is certain to disappoint.

FILM: The Lovely Bones (December 26)
The new film from director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong), based on the award winning novel of the same name.

A murdered girl watches over her family from Heaven, weighing the desire for revenge against her killer vs allowing her family to heal. This beautifully produced story has the look and feel of The Sixth Sense, but more thrill than violence. Its most dubious contribution, though, is the strange view of the afterlife it promotes.

The ‘ever after’ described by The Lovely Bones recognises our universal hunger for justice but promises to do very little about it. And if everyone goes to their personal Heaven, where do killers go?

Viewers will certainly get their ticket-money’s worth out of this thriller, however the picture of the afterlife is the biggest fiction, stitched together from every well-meaning fantasy the writers could lay their hands on.

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