Monday, October 12, 2015

Movie Monday: The Life Before Her Eyes

I had a chance last week to watch another Sue-movie (i.e. not action or thriller!) while my husband was golfing, and I chose The Life Before Her Eyes, a haunting movie about friendship and tragedy, available free on Amazon Prime.

The movie opens showing the beginning of a friendship between two very different high school girls, Maureen and Diana. Maureen, a shy, unassuming girl, comes from a religious family and is involved with her church. In contrast, Diana is loud and brash, dresses provocatively, smokes pot, and has sex with inappropriate young men. Her mother is the high school's gym teacher, but she spends a lot of time away from home, leaving Diana on her own. Despite their differences, the two girls bond and become close, two misfits who find each other. Quite early in the film, though, we see a tragedy hit their high school when a boy they know goes on a shooting spree. He comes to the girls' bathroom where Diana and Maureen are hiding and tells them he will kill one of them...but we don't know what happens next.

At that point, the film shifts forward in time. Diana is an adult now, played by Uma Thurman, married to Paul, with a young daughter named Emma. She seems to be living a good life - in a lovely house, teaching art history, and happy with her family - but she is still haunted by the school shooting. From there, the movie follows Diana's current life, with frequent flashbacks to her high school years and her friendship with Maureen. I was a little confused by the movie's ending at first but soon figured it out.

Obviously, since it is focused on a horrific school shooting, this is a dark, sometimes disturbing movie (if you need further proof, it was directed by Vadim Perelman, who also directed The House of Sand and Fog, the most depressing movie my husband and I have ever seen!). It's not all depressing, though - the scenes of Maureen and Diana's growing friendship in high school are warm and poignant, though filled with a sense of foreboding because you know from the beginning that something terrible is coming. It's interesting, though chilling, to see the girls occasionally interact with the boy who will become the shooter. Seeing past and present twisted together makes this a very thoughtful and clever film, though it is a somber, tragic story. The movie was based on the novel by Laura Kasischke.

Have you seen any good movies lately?

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