I went to a screening of this film in Hollywood, with Q&A afterward with the cast and the director. This film is for mature audiences, including mature young adults. I took my 15 1/2 year old daughter with me, but she is mature in her thinking for her age -- more like a 19-21 year old. She is also an artist and studies film and animation.
This film is INTENSE but absolutely gorgeous. It is a heart-stopping thriller in Hitchcock style. I never read the book, so I can't say how the two match up. But, the movie is incredibly visual. The acting is also superb. The film is more of an art piece -- have patience -- because there is so much symbolism to tell the story. Stanley Tucci, who plays the bad guy, is going to get an Oscar nomination for his amazing performance, mark my words.
The lovely bones, according to the director during the Q&A, are to mean the love that people had for each other -- in spite of such a tragedy -- and how they ended up finding love again; watch for how this plays out at the end of the movie and the choices people make. The messages and emotions are deep. Lots to think about after the film in terms of dealing with tragedy and how important family is.
Susan Sarandon steels the film with her "grandma" performance!