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Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, star of the upcoming film "The Lovely Bones"

Irish eye on Hollywood: ‘The Lovely Bones’ and ‘The Fighter’

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Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, star of the upcoming film "The Lovely Bones"

This December, look out for “The Lovely Bones,” based on the best-selling novel by Alice Sebold and starring wunderkind Northern Ireland actress Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement,” “City of Ember”), as well as Irish-American actor Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon.

“The Lovely Bones” tells the tragic story of 14-year-old Susie Salmon (played by Ronan), who is killed by a neighbor. The rest of the story is told as Susie, uncomfortably perched in the afterlife, watches how her family and friends cope with her loss.

“The Lovely Bones” is directed by “Lord of the Rings” impresario Peter Jackson.

Speaking of Mark Wahlberg, one of the most anticipated upcoming Irish-American films is “The Fighter,” starring Wahlberg as Irish boxer Mickey Ward. But nearly as compelling as Ward’s unlikely rise to fame is the life story of Richard Farrell, who helped write the screenplay for “The Fighter.”

From the Irish stronghold of Lowell, Massachusetts, Farrell recounts his struggles with his abusive father as well as drugs in his memoir “What’s Left of Us.” The movie rights of that memoir have been purchased by the same A-list stars behind “The Fighter,” including Wahlberg, director David O. Russell (Three Kings) as well as Batman himself, Christian Bale.

After helping to write a book called “A Criminal and An Irishman: The Inside Story of the Boston Mob-IRA Connection,” Farrell worked on the script for “The Fighter,” which is now shooting on the streets of his hometown, an experience he finds surreal.

“I was a junkie, dead on the street, and now here I am, talking to Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, and David O. Russell,” he recently said.

No word about when shooting will begin on the film of Farrell’s life.

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