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'Spooky' Saoirse has her Oscar rivals running scared

IRISH actress Saoirse Ronan is being hotly tipped to receive her second Oscar nomination for her role in The Lovely Bones.

The spooky movie is based on the bestselling novel which sees a teenager, played by Ronan, who is raped and murdered and then watches her family unravel as she is stuck in the 'in between' land of heaven and earth.

The supernatural thriller is one of the most anticipated films of the year and has been generating an Oscar buzz for months -- its release date was pushed from March to December to coincide with the award season. Carlow native Saoirse (15) is joined by a star-studded cast in the huge production, with Susan Sarandon playing her grandmother, and Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg as her parents.

The eerie trailer for the movie has just been made available online and features the young actress playing a 14-year-old American teenager who was killed by her neighbour, played by Stanley Tucci.

Now film critics and bloggers alike are pushing for the young starlet to get her second Oscar nomination for the role.

Narrated by the actress, the opening line of the trailer is: "I was 14 years old when I was murdered on December 6, 1973."

As she is stuck in the 'in between', she must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

The film, based on the novel by Alice Sebold, was adapted for the big screen by director Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings fame.


He described directing The Lovely Bones as "a challenge, probably the hardest film I've ever made", and added that he believes "it's an emotional experience, but it's far from a grim and depressing story".

But the film has had its ups and downs -- production was shut down temporarily last year when Jackson and his creative director allegedly disagreed as to how heaven should look on set.

Saoirse was thrust into the limelight after being nominated for an Oscar at the age of 13 for her performance in Atonement, alongside Keira Knightley.

Since then she has worked in a number of A-list productions alongside Hollywood royalty Catherine Zeta Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer and Bill Murray.