It's rare that a Hollywood movie intended to find a PG-13 rating ends up adding more violence, but that appears to be the case with Peter Jackson's Oscar contender "The Lovely Bones."
Speaking to Reuters, the Academy Award winner says he was stunned to find in early test screenings that audiences "were simply not satisfied" with the depiction of a major character's death.
The highly anticipated thriller is based on Alice Sebold's best selling novel which follows the journey of Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan). The teen is brutally murdered by a neighbor (Stanely Tucci) and spends years in limbo trying to help her family come to terms with her death. Audiences will be well aware of who kills Susie, but how her killer is discovered and his fate is the picture's harrowing storyline.
Jackson told the news service that when one character (you can guess who it is) falls to his death in the film, he initially chose to have him disappear over the edge of a cliff. It turns out test audiences just weren't satisfied and they really wanted the character to suffer. With shooting long finished, Jackson and his WETA team had to use digital effects to increase the gruesome factor. And happily, for distributor Paramount Pictures, the film still managed to find a PG-13 rating.
Long thought of as just a potentially strong commercial thriller, "Bones" has slipped in as a more serious Best Picture candidate. Additionally, Tucci has been getting raves for his disturbing portrayal of the killer putting himself in competition against his work in "Julie and Julia" for a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Moreover, the always impressive Ronan may have a shot at yet another Best Actress nod.
And yet, according to the report, the man behind "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy doesn't sound like he's desperate for more Oscar love saying "I don't need to prove anything anymore."
Not that he wouldn't enjoy the "privilege and big thrill" of getting nominated again.
Judging by the current buzz, Jackson may soon find himself in the Oscar dance once more.
"The Lovely Bones" opens in limited release Dec. 11.
For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory
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