Release date: Dec. 11

Distrib: DreamWorks/Paramount

A beloved novel meets an Academy Award-winning adapter of beloved novels in this anticipated film by Peter Jackson of Alice Sebold’s bestseller. Although not yet available for viewing, the storyline’s otherworldly mix of drama (a family grieving their murdered daughter), spiritual fantasy (the daughter watching over her family on Earth) and suspense (will the murderer be caught?) reps a multilayered shot at winning audiences, critics and Academy voters a la spectral successes such as “The Sixth Sense” or “Ghost.” Jackson reteamed with his fellow Oscar-winning screenwriters Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh — who all could grab repeat noms in the adaptation category — as well as d.p. Andrew Lesnie, who won an Oscar for Jackson’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” “Atonement” Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, as the daughter, will be closely watched for nom potential, as will the parents, played by Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz, and possibly Stanley Tucci as the killer.

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