Director Vadim Perelman “wants everyone to know the ending of his film The Life Before Her Eyes before they see it,” writes Arizona Star critic Phil Villarreal. “He says you’ll understand and appreciate the movie better if you’re aware of the late-film twist.
“The story follows the plight of a woman in her 30s, played by Uma Thurman, [who’s been] traumatized by a high school shooting she survived. In the flashback scenes her character is played by Evan Rachel Wood, who, along with her friend, is confronted by the killer in the school bathroom.
“Perelman says most of the film takes place in the mind of the girl as she lies dying in the bathroom.” Yeah, but which girl? The friend or Wood’s character? Villarreal doesn’t make this clear (not in this excerpt, at least) and I’m not going to be the one to say.
“What√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s strange about this film is unless they know the twist, I don√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t think they enjoy the movie,” Perelman tells Villarreal.
“The reviews that are trickling in say the metaphors are too heavy-handed. But by the time you know what the twist is, you√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢re kind of past it. Every single one of the visual metaphors and echoes only exist to support the main concept that she imagines her future life in front of her eyes. I√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢ve come to the conclusion that it√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s better to know and kind of follow along. I can√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t expect people to see it twice.√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ǭù