Saturday, May 3, 2024

The Life Before Her Eyes

The Life Before Her Eyes is a movie with a twist. So we can refer to the movie in two manners. One the movie as it is, a cold, sometimes harsh, yet beautiful evocation of life. The director Vadim Perelman will be remembered for his equally severe yet poetic House of Sand and Fog. This is a kind of filmmaking that doesn't take prisoners.
Regarding the twist, I won't reveal that - but I've heard comments from those that saw the film and the films they want to mention in regards to the twist didn't hold water. Yes, all those films have "the twist" but they all take the ending in different directions.
In The Life Before Her Eyes we view circumstance as seen by Diana (Evan Rachel Wood) and later through her traumatized adult eyes (as Uma Thurman). What shakes the adult Diana is the journey of her own young daughter, the images of a violent incident from her high school days, and her husband (Brett Cullen) having an affair.
Perelman uses repetition of images, particularly lush swimming pool imagery and close-ups of nature in bloom (another title for the film), to make his talking points. The cinematography strikingly enforces the duality of the story.
As we switch back and forth between teen Diana and adult Diana there are visual clues, like bracelets, that carry weight long after the film has ended.
The clip below shows Eva Amurri (daughter of Susan Sarandon who plays Wood's friend in the film) speaking about the film.


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