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The Life Before Her Eyes back to product details

Luminous Portraits in The Light Before Her Eyes
written by TPhillips July 19, 2008 - 10:59 PM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
The first time I saw Evan Rachel Wood on the screen, she was a child actress on the TV show, Once and Again; a very believable pre-teen. To me, she was most gifted of all young actors in the program, and I thought she'd have a future on a bigger screen; it was no surprise to see her in the powerful film, Thirteen, and then recently in the mind-blowing Across the Universe, in which she plays a young woman undergoing transformations circa late '60s to early 70s, and she sings..and beautifully, too. In this movie, The Light Before Her Eyes, she is joined by Eva Amurri, who convincingly plays the part of her closest high school friend. Uma Thurman is extraordinary, too, sometimes almost too painful to watch as the grown-up Diana, contrasting Wood's devil-may-care persona as the younger Diana in flashbacks. Although Thurman's grappling with the pivotal event of high school is interesting, personally, I was drawn to the beautiful portrayal of the friendship between Diana and her best friend...My rating is lower than a '10' because I found the plot to weaken towards the end. However, I give it high marks for acting to all 3 lead actresses, and for direction, cinematography that comes close to visceral photographs-- a lush garden in the rain , or a night scene where the girls walk past sprinklers on suburban homes, almost ethereal-and for provocative subject matter. As an educator and someone haunted by stories of school violence, I'm fascinated by flashback scenes of Diana's high school. As a woman, I appreciate the reminder of how key our female friendships can be at that age. To me, that is the best part of the movie, a luminous portrayal of women at a crossroads of their lives. All 3 actresses deserve kudos for their unflinchingly honest, often brave performances. Not easy to watch, but worth it...


(Average 5.75)
12 Votes
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