The Life Before Her Eyes

Movies Reviews Uma Thurman
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The Life Before Her Eyes

Release Date: April 18
Director: Vadim Perelman
Writers: Emil Stern (adapted screenplay), Laura Kasischke (novel)
Cinematographer: Pawel Edelman
Starring: Uma Thurman, Evan Rachel Wood, Eva Amurri
Studio/Run Time: 2929 Productions, 90 mins.

School-shooting film fumbles, loses plot

Based on Laura Kasischke’s 2002 novel, The Life Before Her Eyes, this film tackles the psychological ramifications of violent crime

—in this case, a brutal school shooting—as recounted by a young woman named Diana (first played by Evan Rachel Wood, then Uma Thurman) who, at 17, ends up barricaded in a bathroom with her best friend and a teenaged gunman. On paper, the plot sounds contrived and straightforward; in reality, the film is awkwardly complex, bulleting back and forth in time. In the end, though, it’s marred by either a fumbled attempt at Magical Realism or just bad plotting, depending on how you interpret its closing scenes. Kasischke’s novel is dreamy and poetic; the film, directed by Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog) is far too coy about its conceit, and, consequently, more confusing than enlightening, despite a trio of outstanding female leads.