The Life Before Her Eyes

1 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

1 out of 5 stars
Is there anything quite so painful as failed awards-bait? Ambition and accomplishment are aeons apart in this would-be meaningful drama about a high school shooting and its effect on student Evan Rachel Wood, as she looks back years later, having blossomed into nervy wife-and-mother Uma Thurman. You’d imagine this would require no little sensitivity.

But although the director’s sparing with the carnage, he cuts back and forth to a key confrontation involving Wood, best pal Eva Amurri (Susan Sarandon’s daughter, the movie’s brightest spot) and their killer classmate with all the crassness of a fairground barker. In the meantime, snippets of her life then (rebellious yet uncertain) and now (brittle and fearful) are rendered painfully ominous. Blame James Horner’s overbearing score, numerous crashing ironies, arty nature shots and (wait for it) a philosophy lecture that explains but does not fully prepare us for a tacky sub-M Night Shyamalan climactic ‘twist’, sending the torment factor off the scale.

By: Trevor Johnston



Release details

Release date:
Friday March 27 2009
90 mins

Cast and crew

Vadim Perelman
Emil Stern
Uma Thurman
Evan Rachel Wood
Eva Amurri
Oscar Isaac
James Urbaniak
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