The Lovely Bones marks not only director Peter Jackson’s return (to semi-realistic film-making, following his Lord of the Rings blockbusters) but also that of musician Brian Eno. Lovely Bones is the first feature film since 2005’s The Jacket with a full, original Eno score. Here’s a survey of how various film critics reacted to it:
A.O. Scott at nytimes.com, on the film’s more fantasy-laden sequences:
“It’s a mid-’70s art-rock album cover brought to life (and complemented by a score composed by the ’70s art-rock fixture Brian Eno), and while its trippy vistas are sometimes ravishing, they are also distracting. ‘Heaven,’ a Talking Heads song once pointed out, is ‘a place where nothing ever happens.’”
David Denby at newyorker.com:
“Heaven is notoriously harder to make interesting than Hell, but Jackson has outdone other artists in cotton candy—there are luscious hills and dales, and gleaming lakes and fields of waving grain, and sugarplum fairies with music by Brian Eno rather than by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.”
Todd McCarthy at variety.com:
“Jackson shows his low-budget horror-film roots in the way he shoots the sinister scenes, with silhouetting white lights, heavy fog effects, wide-angle closeups and generic synth backgrounding from Brian Eno’s otherwise effective score.”
All of which said, the majority of reviews at major publications didn’t even seem to note the Eno score, except with the occasional credit-bundle sidebar: washingtonpost.com, latimes.com, villagevoice.com, slate.com, guardian.co.uk, chicagotribune.com.