Laura CliffordDiana’s (Uma Thurman) life has not gone as she hoped following a Columbine-like shooting 15-years before. Prior to the massacre, Diana (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maureen (Eva Amurri), though polar opposites, were best friends with the high hopes of the young on the brink of adulthood. The terrible incident, though, will profoundly change Diana’s life as she now sees The Life Before Her Eyes.”
Director Vadim Perelman, following his first rate adaptation of the novel “House of Sand and Fog,” makes a misstep with the well crafted but flawed “The Life Before Here Eyes.” Adapting another novel, by Laura Kasischke, he weaves back and forth thru time between the older Diana and her younger persona. The intercutting between present Diana and her troubled life, having never recovered from that fateful day when so many students and teachers were senselessly killed and wounded, and the time up to and including the shootings is deftly handled. But, the present day Diana is not given the attention afforded her younger self.
Uma Thurman plays Diana as always anxious and never lets go of her past. As such, hers is a one-note performance that, well before the end, telegraphs the surprise” ending. More fully developed is the relationship between teenaged Diana and her best friend Maureen. These two, though the opposite in personality, ring true as friends. You invest yourself much more in the flashback story and the terrible massacre than you do in present day Diana’s angst-ridden life.
Techs are good but not enough to save the uneven tale.
Those that read the book know what happens. So, if you didn’t read the book and see the movie, was it a surprise? Not to me. I give it a C+.
Laura did not see this film.
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