"Before I Sleep" Now Available On iTunes, Cable On Demand in U.S. - Jamie Bamber News
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"Before I Sleep" Now Available On iTunes, Cable On Demand in U.S.
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SURPRISE! I mean, you should be surprised... we certainly were to discover that Before I Sleep, without so much as a peep from its distributor (Indican Pictures) was listed on iTunes last week as being released March 3rd. We were able to confirm independently that yes, it would be out this month, but that it might be later... or, you know, if there would be any other platforms in particular? So asta77 and myself sort of sat on it until we had something to go on.

Well, happily we can report that as of today, the film is available on iTunes, as a purchase.

It is also available as an On Demand rental from DirectTV, Comcast XInfinity, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. If anyone else can report additional cable VOD carriers that have it, please post in the comments and we'll update the list!
(Regarding non-U.S. venues: no idea, although if anyone hears a peep please let us know.)

UPDATE! (3/5/15): The film is also available on Amazon Instant Video, to buy or rent.

As for the film itself? Please feel free to discuss in the comments below once you've seen it; I probably won't get a chance to do so for a couple of days yet. It does look like a fairly interesting, subdued character piece, I'll throw some reactions in later.  (I did scrub through enough to grab one screenshot just for this post, as a function of reminding you all that Jamie's part in this is very small... though he does look like this, so do with that what you will. ;) )

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Comments
lanalucy From: lanalucy Date: March 3rd, 2015 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
He does look pretty in overalls. :D
dramaturgca From: dramaturgca Date: March 4th, 2015 04:16 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Definitely is NOT on Charter On Demand.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 4th, 2015 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Thank ye, m'dear! I had a feeling it might not be on all cable providers; tried to look it up on Charter but their website isn't terribly user friendly. :P
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 9th, 2015 12:23 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Okay, who wants some bargain-basement soapboxing on this one? ;)

SPOILERS BELOW...




Let's start with the good part: David Warner is pretty amazing. Given the long stretches of film in which there is little to no dialogue, he has plenty of opportunities to do some really great work with just a glance or the minutest gesture and he manages to constantly be watchable, even when the plot threads around him drag on or feel fleeting and under-developed. The scenes with Alice St. Clair as Zooey are handily the best in the film (and there really should be more of them; that fresh, unclouded perspective between the young person who doesn't really even know much about his work so she just sees him for who he is, not for who she thinks he is or for who he could have been... I feel like the movie needs more of that.)

I'd say if anything, narratively the movie suffers from being too committed to the concept of its protagonist's failing health and mental state. And this is me straight-up giving the benefit of the doubt to the Sharff brothers and assuming that this aspect of the movie is intentional... and not just the result of thinly plotted, overly dream-like storytelling. Allow me to explain (and what do you know, the best example involves the portion of the film that Jamie is in? Convenient! ;) ):

The first clue, if you're looking for it (I wasn't; I went back and looked after I'd finished the film) is in Phoebe's obituary in the paper. It lists her birthday as 1938, but notes she married Paul in 1971; hence, she was 33 at the time. There is no plausible way Bonnie Wright looks remotely close to 33, in the film or otherwise. (The same could be said of Eugene Simon.) So in the flashbacks, we have the two of them represented very young as they likely were when they were in love... but this isn't necessarily representative of the Phoebe who ultimately married Jamie's Paul. It's the way Eugene perpetually remembers her, regardless of what part of her life we're getting a glimpse at.

Meanwhile, the scene by the river - reeeeally implausibly - gives us Phoebe having three key conversations that dictate her future in rapid succession: Rachel, intimating that Eugene is a poor marriage choice; Eugene himself, and the moment in which she basically breaks it off with him without strictly saying so; and Paul, being - and this is important - both clearly sexually appealing and broadly demonstrating a creepy, predatory stance toward Phoebe. There's nothing either before, during, or after the Eugene/Phoebe scene in the middle that definitely indicates he was lurking nearby (In the bushes?!) or privy to either the Rachel or the Paul conversations. So are those two bookending conversations the way Eugene chooses to understand things?: i.e. one of her friends put her off the idea of marrying him, and then a brash, brawny braggart like Paul swooped in and stole her away? (Though he apparently sees her as a sexual object and not as a woman?.... But, what do we know of Eugene's relationship with her that demonstrates something clearly to the contrary, other than their having been childhood playfriends? Literally, that is the only thing we have to go on with regard to her character and why he is so besotted with her. NOT ENOUGH.)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: March 9th, 2015 12:23 am (UTC) (Link Me)
(Continued...)

(OH... and just as a matter of continuity, there's a lot of discussion going on about people going for a swim but no one ever dives in the water... and after Paul takes his overalls off, once Jamie exits the shot and the camera pulls back, said overalls are gone. BAD CONTINUITY, OR DISCONCERTING DREAMLIKE FLASHBACK? You be the judge! ;) )

I mean, I'm hoping all of this is intended, because later in the film when Eugene has the extended memory up in the attic of his middle-aged self (Campbell Scott) presumably continuing to spy out the window at Phoebe and Paul... well, there's really nothing there to indicate a sort of predatory marriage where she's trapped with some creeper who seduced her. They look... well, fairly mundane, but happy. So are we meant to presume that every negative aspect of the flashback sequences are indicative of Eugene's guilt and remorse, beating himself up over the choices he made (or didn't make)? It's hard to resolve that notion, to be honest, since the film never gives us any sort of climactic moment where he comes to terms verbally with his guilt (again, the budding friendship with Zooey could have been utilized really effectively in this way.) Indeed, slow as it can be at times, at 88 minutes the film feels bereft of a lot of resolutions w/ regard to character development; how does Caroline's rekindled acquaintance with an old flame correlate to her husband suddenly showing up (in the last 5 minutes of the movie!) to try and save their marriage? And maybe selfishly, I love James Rebhorn and seeing as how this was his last film, would have loved the town minister to have a little more to do. ;)

(It should also be pointed out that, just as a casting aside, Bonnie Wright both enhances and negatively exacerbates this notion of Phoebe being perpetually young from Eugene's perspective. She just has one of those faces that is extremely girlish (she's 24, but without much makeup she looks about 15), and Jamie (though he is a youthful 41) definitely looks considerably older. So that whole sequence - while it clearly seems intended to be uncomfortable - plays out considerably more so than it should, really.)

Thoughts, anyone who has access to the film at this point?

Edited at 2015-03-09 12:30 am (UTC)
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