A while back there was another “The Life Before Her Eyes” poster, about which I made a post. Subsequently I (and pretty much every other site) was asked to take the poster down, which I did. And now it’s mostly gone from the Internet, although you can still find it in a few places.
Anyways, I say that just because I want to repeat something I wrote back then but that I think is still true now. The movie has a hard to distill premise. Here is how the publicity materials explain it:
Based on the best-selling novel by Laura Kasischke, Life Before Her Eyes is a dramatic thriller about Diana (Oscar-nominee Uma Thurman), a suburban wife and mother who begins to question her seemingly perfect life–and perhaps her sanity–on the 15th anniversary of a tragic high school shooting that took the life of her best friend. In flashbacks, Diana is a vibrant high schooler (played by Evan Rachel Wood of THIRTEEN and THE UPSIDE OF ANGER) who, with her shy best friend Maureen, plot typical teenage strategies–cutting class, fantasizing about boys–and vow to leave their sleepy suburb at the first opportunity. The older Diana, however, is haunted by the increasingly strained relationship she had with Maureen as day of the school shooting approached. These memories disrupt the idyllic life she’s now leading with her professor husband Paul and their young daughter Emma. As older Diana’s life begins to unravel and younger Diana gets closer and closer to the fatal day, a deeper mystery slowly unravels.
A lot of what is described as the movie’s plot has to do with internal turmoils experienced by the older Diana, something hard to portray visually.
The strategy they have taken to deal with this problem in the new poster is to focus squarely in the interplay between the younger and older version of the character. So we get Uma Thurman in some sort of body of water, her younger self, played by Evan Rachel Wood, appearing as her reflection. This shows that what happened back then is still with her, very close to the surface, even if it is not obvious that there is anything wrong by just superficially looking at her.
I think it’s an interesting concept that makes for an amusing image. Does it give us a good idea of what the movie is going to be like? Probably not, but it does make us focus in what is likely to be one of the most interesting aspects of the film. And it’s a better design than that of the previous, disappeared poster.
All that said, allow me to ask something. Why is it that Uma Thurman looks like she is represented by an illustration? The Evan Rachel Wood image looks like a photo. Was this dissonance intentional? Or did someone just go a little overboard with the airbrushing? Honestly, it’s quite noticeable, and if it was intentional I just can’t seem to guess what the idea behind it could have been. Perhaps that the current life is a cartoon and the the truth is beneath the surface? Possible, but seems like a huge stretch.