I preferred the book, but it wasn't a bad movie. Went with my mother and my sister; sister loved it, mother, not quite sure. Open weeping in the theatre - gack.
Yes, as I read before I went, there is an annoying "twist" ending to the movie, which is different from the annoying "twist" ending to the book.
The main problem is, I suspect, the principle in writing that you should never let your character get up a tree so steep there's no way down (or something - I'm tired here!).
I don't think there really is a good ending to this story. It's a great first and second act; Jodi Picoult, one of my favourite "chick-lit" authors, is very capable at setting up an intriguing premise, and the movie stays very true to her concept.
But there's just no good way down from the tree.
Somebody's got to die, and you (in the sense of ME) are just not happy, in the broader sense of feeling satisfied with the story, no matter who it is or how it plays out.
It was slightly incongruous watching the same actors portray the siblings through what I felt was too wide a range of ages. Anna, for example, was played by Abigail Breslin at both age 11 and at the end, presumably in her late teens.
Even with the addition of a "grown-up" hat, she didn't look different enough, in my opinion, nor did any of the three child actors, which made the movie a bit confusing to follow. Ultimately, however, all three did a terrific job with what they were handed.
If I had to choose a star rating, maybe I'd give it four out of five. Definitely liked it, but not my favourite film of all time.
Nice to get out with my mother and sister. I wish Sara had been in town to join us, but I don't think it's her kind of movie.