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Peter Jackson is shooting "The Hobbit" in New Zealand right now, so perhaps he's too busy to catch wind of the serious fighting words that were thrown down at the Cannes Film Festival last week.

They came from Lynne Ramsay, the film director behind the feature film "We Need To Talk About Kevin," which created some of the hottest buzz at the fest. But she also spent a lot of time talking about one of her former almost-movies, "The Lovely Bones," which she has a bit of a history with.

Ramsay was originally attached to adapt the novel as early as 2001, sticking with the project until, in her words, Steven Spielberg started poking around, and then she left and Jackson inevitably ended up taking over in 2004.

And let's just say she wasn't too big of a fan of Jackson's take on Alice Sebold's story: "I thought it looked like 'My Little Pony,'" she said.


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Pippi LongstockingThe two feature films director Debra Granik has made are markedly similar in many ways. There's "Winter's Bone," a likely Oscar contender this year, that follows a 17-year-old Ozark Mountain girl who has to track down her meth-dealing father to protect the lives of her depressed mother and her siblings. And then there's "Down to the Bone," released in 2004, that follows a working class, cocaine-using mother of two who checks into rehab and has to try to resist the temptations of drugs and deal with an affair she's having with her nurse.

So when The Los Angeles Times reported that Granik's next planned film is a reboot of "Pippi Longstocking" (pictured), were were just a wee bit surprised. But as the Times goes on to point out, the transition makes perfect sense. Longstocking is one of "fiction's original tomboys," and the choice to make a film about her continues Granik's streak of creating strong female heroines who rise above the tropes of typical Hollywood roles for women.

Still, Granik isn't the first director to follow up one film with another that's drastically different in both tone and theme. After the jump, see five other directors who've done just that -- to varying results.


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You don't get more touchy a subject matter than the murder of a young child, but that's exactly what Peter Jackson was up against when he began the process of adapting the bestselling novel "The Lovely Bones." So it's particularly interesting then to hear his thoughts as he's in the middle of shooting a crucial scene in the film, that of Mark Wahlberg feverishly searching for his daughter. That's just what we have in the clip below from the special features of the DVD and Blu-ray, which has now hit store shelves.

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DESC1. "Avatar" ($36 million)
2. "Legion" ($18.2 million)
3. "The Book of Eli" ($17 million)
4. "Tooth Fairy" ($14.5 million)
5. "The Lovely Bones" ($8.8 million)

James Cameron's "Avatar" easily won its sixth straight weekend at the box office, but the film's victory over its current theatrical competitors is hardly the greatest cause for celebration — that distinction belongs to the Na'vi people's victory over Gotham City's personal superhero, as "Avatar" has officially surpassed Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" as the second highest grossing film of all time at the domestic box office. Read More...

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DESC1. "Avatar" ($9.1 million)
2. "Legion" ($6.7 million)
3. "The Book of Eli" ($4.9 million)
4. "Tooth Fairy" ($3.5 million)
5. "The Lovely Bones" ($2.6 million)

With six Friday performances under its belt, James Cameron's "Avatar" remains the top dog at the box office, once again pulling out a first place finish worth $9.1 million — and just like the late musician Wesley Willis, "Avatar" is now poised to whoop Batman's you know what. Read More...

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DESC1. "Avatar" ($41.3 million)
2. "The Book of Eli" ($31.6 million)
3. "The Lovely Bones" ($17 million)
4. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" ($11.5 million)
5. "Sherlock Holmes" ($9.8 million)

Once again, moviegoers pledged their loyalty and price of admission to the natives of Pandora as director James Cameron's "Avatar" continued its dominance over the box office. For the fifth straight weekend, "Avatar" has emerged at the top of the charts, taking in an estimated $41.3 million by Sunday evening. Read More...

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There's no denying it. Peter Jackson knows his way around an adaptation. "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy was stellar, as we all know. And "King Kong," for all of it's issues, carried with it the spirit of the original. Now he's on to "The Lovely Bones," Alice Sebold's beautiful-yet-disturbing story of a young girl's trip through the afterlife following her murder at the hands of a sadistic serial killer. He had his work cut out for him there. Making that story something an audience can stomach without succumbing to overblown emotion is nigh on impossible.

I suppose that’s why it’s so strange that Jackson came to direct an adaptation of the massively successful novel in the first place. “The Lovely Bones” is a quiet book, a narrative crushed underneath the weight of trauma and loss, it’s only release in the eventual comeuppance visited upon its villains and the emotional catharsis offered to its leads. Jackson, for all of his talent in breathing new life into old ideas, makes big movies. They are loud, long, brash beasts of creation. Everything “The Lovely Bones” isn’t, really. Read More...

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When Eminem decided that his status as a superstar musician gave him the credentials to become an actor, the result was “8 Mile,” an Oscar-nominated instant classic; Mariah Carey’s 2001 bomb “Glitter” might just be the worst movie ever made. Somewhere in between, we’ve had Britney’s “Crossroads,” Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard,” 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” and dozens of other boundary-defying debuts. Now, it’s time for Christina Aguilera to finally make the move – and one of her famous co-stars thinks Xtina has what it takes.

“I hear she’s wonderful,” explained Stanley Tucci, the accomplished veteran actor/writer/director of more than 80 movies and TV shows, who has been cast alongside Aguilera in “Burlesque,” also starring Cher, Kristen Bell and Cam Gigandet. “I’ve been talking to some of the people at the studio, and everyone is thrilled with her.” Read More...

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FROM MTV.COM: Little Susie Salmon, 14 years old and dead, looks back on the world that's going on without her from a new vantage in "the blue horizon," a way station between the Earth from which she's been erased and the Heaven she'll soon call home. Susie (Saoirse Ronan) sees her family — mom (Rachel Weisz), dad (Mark Wahlberg) and little sister (Rose McIver) — being torn apart by her loss. And down the street from their house, she sees the man who murdered her, still undetected, still seething with pedophile furies. Susie's is not a soul at peace.

Outside the precincts of torture porn, any movie that forthrightly depicted the rape and butchery of a young girl would be unendurable (and probably unshowable). So in adapting Alice Sebold's 2002 novel into his new movie, "The Lovely Bones," director Peter Jackson was wise to mute the book's true-crime-style horrors. Susie's murder isn't shown, rape is never mentioned, and her dismemberment is only obliquely suggested toward the end of the picture. The movie dispenses with the usual serial-killer shocks (it's much less bloody than, say, "The Silence of the Lambs") to focus instead on building an atmosphere of thickening dread.

Continue reading 'The Lovely Bones': Girl Interrupted, By Kurt Loder

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FROM MTV.COM: On its surface, a movie about a dead 14-year-old reflecting on her gruesome murder and how it has torn apart her family doesn't exactly sound like the feel-good movie of the winter. But this weekend's "The Lovely Bones" comes from a one-of-a-kind best-selling novel, and with "Lord of the Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson at the helm, it might just be one of the most life-affirming films of the year.

"I love it; I think it's beautiful," explained Rachel Weisz, who plays the grieving mother of Susie ("Atonement" Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan), a murdered young girl narrating the film from the beautiful "In-Between" as she makes her way to heaven. "It's very uplifting, optimistic and hopeful. It's obviously about a very serious subject matter, but I think that the overriding feeling is very hopeful and optimistic and shows you life is a miracle and a treasure, and how we have to value every minute that you can, trying to live each day as if it were our last."

Continue reading 'The Lovely Bones' Director Peter Jackson Creates A Beautiful Purgatory

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