Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Sunday, 01.21.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3
 4  5  6  7  8  9  10
 11  12  13  14  15  16  17
 18  19  20  21  22  23  24
 25  26  27  28  29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

May 09,2008
Movie Review: 'The Life Before Her Eyes'
by Nina Garin

What do you say about an illusive drama like "The Life Before Her Eyes" when you have no idea what's actually happening?

At its simplest, "The Life Before Her Eyes" is about a high school shooting in which the gunman forces two best friends to choose which one of them will die.

'THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES' - Evan Rachel Wood and Eva Amurri are best friends facing terror in 'The Life Before Her Eyes.' CNS Photo courtesy of Phillip Caruso / Magnolia Pictures. 


4 STARS - Excellent.

3 STARS - Worthy.

2 STARS - Mixed.

1 STAR - Poor.

0 - Forget It (a dog.) 

Evan Rachel Wood plays Diana, a mildly rebellious teen who is always searching for something. No matter how many boys she dates or joints she smokes, she only seems at peace when she's with her best friend, Maureen (Eva Amurri).

Diana and Maureen have a relationship they describe as "the virgin and the whore," and thanks to outstanding performances by the young actresses, the movie is at its best when exploring their unlikely friendship.

Then we have Uma Thurman as Diana 15 years later. She's a fragile mom, practically crippled with guilt, trying not to have a meltdown on the anniversary of the shooting.

"The Life Before Her Eyes," like the novel it's based on, unfolds like a dream, and Diana's character seems to have visions - visions of her dead teacher and of blood where there is none.

There are constant flashbacks and flash-forwards, but neither device is concrete or reliable. Slowly, it becomes obvious that things aren't as they seem.

Even on a visual level, a movie about a school shooting, filled with the nightmarish sounds of screaming and gunfire, shouldn't be beautiful. But director Vadim Perelman packs in glorious, languid shots of flowers and pollen and sunshine.

Thurman is initially stilted and awkward, and you suspect this is yet another role she's phoning in, like that of "G-Girl" in "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." But ultimately she delivers one of her strongest, most vulnerable performances in a while. Especially in scenes where she's chasing her 8-year-old daughter, who has runaway tendencies.

All this leads to a surprise ending, but it's not an obvious surprise, the jaw-dropping kind you get in "The Crying Game" or "The Sixth Sense."

A film this vague may be annoying to anyone who likes nice, neat conclusions. Because even after the credits roll, you're still putting pieces together, still wondering what's real and what's not.

But in this 24-hour news world, in which we're numbed by headlines of school violence, a new perspective such as that offered by this film, helps humanize such tragedies.

Either way, the only clear thing about "The Life Before Her Eyes" is that it lingers, whether you want it to or not.

"The Life Before Her Eyes." Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. Rated: R. 3 stars.
1370 times read

Related news
Films in Focus: New and recent releases by David Elliott and others posted on May 16,2008

Movie Review: 'The Game Plan' by David_Elliott posted on Oct 05,2007

Movie Review: 'Made of Honor' by Nina Garin posted on May 09,2008

Movie Review: ‘Georgia Rule’ by David_Elliott posted on May 18,2007

Movie Review: 'Then She Found Me' by Nina Garin posted on May 09,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 18 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?