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Life Before Her Eyes
by James Horner

Journey from
the Fall

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Life Before Her Eyes (Soundtrack) by James Horner

Life Before Her Eyes
Composed by James Horner
Moviescore Media (2007)

Rating: 4/10

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Listen to this soundclip of Life Before Her EyesAn Ordinary Day (360 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Life Before Her EyesYoung Diana's Future... (357 kb)


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“After the evocative HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG and surprisingly interesting THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, LIFE BEFORE HER EYES is a disappointment.”

Almost-nothingness
Review by Christopher Coleman


Pairing up again with director Vadim Perelman was full of potential. James Horner's emotionally deep score for Perelman's last film, HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, was a signicant contributor to the power of the film. Their first collaboration provided one of the more emotionally charged and throught provoking movie experiences of 2006. Again the two come together to tell another tragic story in LIFE BEFORE HER EYES.

Even more visually stunning than his last film, the LIFE BEFORE YOUR EYES, tells the sad tale of a woman, Diana, who is scarred by Columbine-like shooting at her high-school. Fifteen years older, she has a daughter of her own, who is more like her than she would want her to be, and now struggles with the renewed memories of the horrific event. It seems to be en vogue to, whenever directors choose to tell a story in a-typical fashion (ie. obscure angle or ending-twist), summarily dismiss them as being pretentious and too high-minded. M. Night Shyamalan has suffered this fate and now Vadim Perelman does as well. Yes...LIFE BEFORE HER EYES might be "a bit much" for those who belong to the blockbuster-or-die-crowd, but sometimes it is nice to have other parts of the brain or, God forbid, a part of the soul, stimulated or challenged. With all that said, LIFE BEFORE HER EYES, as a whole, isn't quite as satisfying as Perelman's HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG and one major reason is because of JAMES HORNER's score.

While LIFE BEFORE HER EYES shares some characteristics with HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, it takes "understatement" to another level. Both scores offer slow tempo-ed pieces comprised of strings, synths, occasional percussion, and piano leads. Unlike HOUSE, there is no respite from this minimal and somber tone in LIFE BEFORE HER EYES - at least not until we reach the final track, "Young Diana's Future - A Future that Could Have Been" (12). It's track after track of virtual, emotional, almost-nothingness. What is ironically intriguing is that most the pieces here are filled with tried and true Horner instrumentation and arrangement except for that fact that there is usually one instrument or another that takes the lead. For LIFE BEFORE HER EYES, the closest we get to his is the piano (played by James Horner himself) and the occasional wordless vocal.

Compared to the rest of the score, track 12, is fairly aggressive - starting off with pounding and clanking percussion (that reminds of climactic moments from films like LEGENDS OF THE FALL or BRAVEHEART), but, of course, it never erupts into a beautiful fanfare as we've heard Horner do many times before. For this film, quite the opposite is true. The music dives back down into the realms of the almost-silent as the "truth" is unveiled at the story's end. Horner brings back the main piano theme; slightly elevated in volume and vigor and accompanied by cello, string-section and synths - concluding this fairly lifeless score. LIFE BEFORE HER EYES ends up fitting along side Horner's more somber efforts, but is devoid of a strong personality when compared to most of them. After the evocative HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG and surprisingly interesting THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, LIFE BEFORE HER EYES is a disappointment.

 

Rating: 4/10

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Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 An Ordinary Day 3:54  ***
2 Diana - A Future to Be? 4:55  **
3 Becoming Close Friends 3:32  ***
4 All the Memories from an Old Photo Album 4:06  **
5 The Gift of a Necklace 3:59  ***
6 Choose!  Time to Decide 3:31  **
7 Diana Gets Hit By a Car 3:45  **
8 Two Live Slowly Converging 4:35  **
9 Diana's Young Conscience is Finally Formed 3:44  **
10 The Memorial - The Laying of Flowers 2:31  **
11 Two Worlds; The Past and the Future 2:51  **
12 Young Diana's Future - A Future that Could Have Been? 12:15  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 54 minutes  

 

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