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Life Before Her Eyes (Blu-ray)

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Product Overview

Based on the novel by Laura Kasischke this powerful drama starring Uma Thurman unfolds in out-of-sequence flashbacks. Recklessly hedonistic teenager Diana (Evan Rachel Wood) and her best friend a Christian virgin (Eva Amuri) come face to face with a machine-gun-wielding classmate one morning at school in a situation reminiscent of Columbine. Thurman plays the grown-up version of Diana who has a perfect life in the same small town 15 years after the tragedy. On the anniversary of the shooting unpleasant flashbacks haunt her as she takes her daughter to school lectures on Gauguin to a bored art history class and possibly spots her older professor husband out with a younger woman. As the events cohere and time collapses one realizes nothing is certain and life renews and ends on a moment-by-moment basis. Under the helm of Vadim Perelman (HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG) a spiritual presence is imbued in lovingly photographed close-ups of flowers dirty dishes cats ants spiders bees on flowers leaves and Wood diving in and out of a swimming pool in slow motion. The dialogue is peppered with believably offhand philosophical inquiry and if the film does nothing else it makes one reevaluate one s perspective on the sanctity of every life decision--and to feel a degree of awe and reverence for the acting skills and beauty of both Thurman and Wood who meld believably into the same complex character. Format: BLU-RAY DISC. Genre: DRAMA. Rating: NR. Age: 876964001397. UPC: 876964001397. Manufacturer No: 10139


Studio Magnolia Pict Hm Ent
SKU 208073948
UPC 876964001397
UPC 14 00876964001397
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 10/1/2014
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review The Life Before Her Eyes is an examination of survivor guilt. It uses as its backdrop a Columbine-like school shooting and flashes back and forth between a girl as she is at the time of the incident and the woman she will be fifteen years later. Director Vadim Perelman is careful in the way he assembles the movie to create some uncertainty about whether the "present" represents the scenes with the girl (flashing forward to her future) or the scenes with the woman (flashing back to her past). However, although events occur in two separate time lines, the screenplay eventually connects them in a way that may not be entirely expected...Columbine has become a touchstone of modern American society and, like 9/11, filmmakers approach the event (or one inspired by it) with trepidation. In The Life Before Her Eyes, the goal is to explore the impact of an event like this in terms of how it haunts the survivors...One might wonder why Perelman chose to structure the story in such a seemingly haphazard format. The compelling reason becomes clear late in the proceedings; a strictly linear telling would not have worked and would have muted one of the film's more intriguing aspects. The Life Before Her Eyes is an effective portrayal of the lingering impacts of survivor guilt but, in many ways, it works even better as a portrait of a young woman's life as she approaches a tragedy she does not see coming.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
Review You know you're in for it when one of the first shots of The Life Before Her Eyes features a canted, low-angle shot of a high school building cutting into an ominously moving sky, much like Friedkin's shot of the statue of Pizzuzu in the desert from The Exorcist. Unaware of this directorial foreboding, two spirited 17-year-old girls--Diana (Evan Rachel Wood) and her best friend Maureen (Eva Amurri)--are gussying themselves up in the bathroom, making themselves attractive to the boys. Diana says to Maureen, "When is it all going to start?" "What?" "Our lives." As if on cue, bullets and screams are heard and the two girls are suddenly sucked into a Columbine-like horror...Compositions are milked for every bit of meaningful, beard-stroking impact. The images look beautiful, almost over-ripe, the flowers as ravishing as the toast. The Life Before Her Eyes is tasteful, overwrought direction at its finest...But one sticks with the film anticipating Perelman to perform a masterful magic trick in the grand finale. Instead, Perelman delivers an unsatisfying, time-shifting sleight-of-hand that cries out for magical potions and caterwauling incantations, if not the plague of frogs...The one ray of light through this murky mix is Uma Thurman, whose grace under fire is immense. Thurman keeps it all real, even when she has to wallow in the mud, screaming out her daughter's name.
Reviewer Paul Brenner
ReviewRating 6
DVD, Widescreen, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format Blu-Ray
Alonso Duralde, MSNBC Uma Thurman, Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri give fascinating, compelling performances.
Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times Beautifully constructed and shot. Evan Rachel Wood gives an eerily mesmerizing performance.
Ed Douglas, Gorgeous, haunting and thought provoking. It will leave you thinking long after it's over...[Thurman and] Wood have never been better.
Genevieve Bahrenburg, Vogue One of the most emotionally stirring films I have seen in some time.
Graham Fuller, Vanity Fair A beautifully etched, haunting meditation on the choices young women make. Uma Thurman does her best work in years.
Kim Voynar, Cinematical Visually stunning and poetic. The kind of film that leaves you full and satisfied.
Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter An intriguing thriller boasting two terrific performances from Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood and an ending that's destined to generate discussion.
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