Having achieved such success with the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, it appears that calling a book un-filmable is like challenging director Peter Jackson to prove the world wrong.
But whereas the Rings trilogy was considered as such for the sheer size and scope of the world the characters inhabited, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones proves far trickier, by virtue of the novel's imagination and character-heavy story.
Still, if anyone can make sense of it, it's Jackson who originally showed his class with the critically acclaimed Heavenly Creatures.
Atonement's Saoirse Ronan plays Susie Salmon, a fourteen-year-old girl with a pair of siblings and loving parents, growing up against the backdrop of 70s American suburbia.
The almost idyllic life is soon shattered, however, when Stanley Tucci's child-killer neighbour sets his sights on Susie as she walks home from school, luring the youngster into an underground shelter he's built for the crime.
Her murder leads to the downfall of those she leaves behind, as mother Abigail (Rachel Weisz) refuses to accept life without her daughter, while dad Jack (Mark Wahlberg) spirals out of control as he desperately attempts to accept his failure to protect his daughter, and ultimately figure out the killer.
Jack's obsession is not without reason, as Susie is not entirely lost. Rather, she finds herself in a place between Heaven and Earth, where she can apparently influence those she left behind.
And so the biggest challenge for Jackson lies in creating an ethereal world for Susie to exist in. A surreal, yet familiar range of settings that embody the things her family do, say and see.
The investigations into Susie's death are gripping, Jackson showing his skill as a thriller director with several tense sequences. But it's when the camera leaves the real world and settles on the gloriously coloured canvasses, replete with giant ships in giant bottles and superimposed smiling faces, that the film falls flat.
That, combined with a huge departure from several of the novel's key plot threads have turned Jackson's adaptation into something of a mess. Themes are blurred, character motivations largely unclear and the novel's central justification, and subsequent pay off, are hugely disappointing.
In contrast, Jackson has elicited some captivating performances from his cast. Ronan is perfect as the murdered Susie, and Wahlberg's innocent puppy-dog expressions make her loss all the more heartbreaking. Weisz, meanwhile, disappears in and out of the story with alarming regularity, and minimal explanation.
The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli excels in a strangely underdeveloped role as the cop who struggles to find the killer, but it's Tucci who will take the most credit, bravely portraying a truly despicable character with utter conviction.
Jackson and his co-writers pride themselves on their ability to dissect a book, figure out what's important and what can be jettisoned for the sake of the big screen. But, rather sadly, in ridding themselves of particular themes and characters, the story is stripped down to the bare, and not very lovely, bones.