Dawson Casting: Rose McIver plays the younger sister of Susie; in reality, McIver is six years older than Saoirse Ronan. Particularly notable is the scene where McIver's character is kissing her boyfriend — she looks about 19 in that scene, but about 13 in all the others.
It should be pointed out that most of Lindsey's scenes are when she is older and has graduated from High School, including the climactic scene. While Susie will always remain 14, Lindsey grows up, gets married and becomes a mother. So casting an older actress is necessary.
Reality Subtext: Alice Sebold, the author of the novel, is a survivor of rape.
So My Kids Can Watch: Peter Jackson made a surprisingly tame movie that cuts out the darkest parts of the novel.
What Could Have Been: Originally, Lynne Ramsay was going to direct the film, and she had written a script in which all the scenes in heaven with Susie were depicted as being in her father's imagination, while he and Mr. Harvey became close friends.
Even to the actual movie produced. Who would better be selected to make a movie about the book of a dead narrating little girl rape and murder victim that shows a family's grief with a menagerie of supernatural tidbits and sexual events, yeah the guy who made weird gory horror films, then a movie about teen murderers and then overly long films on an epic fantasy, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?