Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

The Life Before Her Eyes

 
 
Review by Steven Froese

To start off, I haven't read the book, nor did I read the synopsis.  All I remember is seeing a trailer for this film a while back and thinking that it looked interesting. So I was expecting a film about a woman dealing with a horrible experience, namely a school shooting, and the psychological terror that she had to go through and the problems she had to face. What it really is about though, are the choices that we make in life and the consequences that become of them.

As it turns out, the shooting was just the backdrop for the setting in which these events take place. This film is very vague and is subject to multiple interpretations.  Unfortunately, I can’t give you much in the way of detail without spoiling it for those of you who haven’t seen it, because the whole movie revolves around the way it ends. If you are one of those people who likes to guess the ending, then make sure to pay attention to all the details throughout the movie.

The story unfolds through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards, through the past, the present and the future. At one time point in the movie we have Diana (played as an adult by Uma Thurman and as a teenager by Evan Rachel Wood), going through high school, having a boyfriend and relationship problems, smoking pot and causing trouble. She has a best friend named Maureen who is her exact opposite. At another point in time, we have Diana as a thirty-something mother, seeming to habitually relive and suffer from her past experiences. She has a husband and a daughter, both of whom are starting to travel the same troubled path that she went through.

I will say that the cinematography was beautiful and very detailed; every scene looked to be carefully thought through.  Evan Rachel Wood was very good (and not for the first time), but her character was not markedly different from the other teen-angst characters that she has played before, and Uma Thurman was quite good too.  However, the constant flashbacks became tiresome after a while, the plot didn’t make a lick of sense at times, and the film distinctly failed at being as emotionally deep as it was clearly trying to be.

2 / 5 stars

 

 

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