Suffering from the Hollywood blockbuster blues? Have I got some indies for you! All three are newly available this week on DVD.
Kim Voynar called Vadim Perelman's The Life Before Her Eyes "a lovely, nuanced film packed with imagery, and bracketed by an intriguing storyline." The story revolves around the survivor of a school shooting; Uma Thurman plays her as an adult and Evan Rachel Wood as a teenager. Kim wrote in part: "I'd expect the director's commentary on the DVD to be intriguing." The DVD does indeed feature an audio commentary by the director, joined by production designer Maia Javan. Also included are deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and several other mini-features. A Blu-ray edition is also available.
Kim also reviewed Tommy O'Haver's An American Crime when it debuted at Sundance last year. Based on the true tragedy of teenage Sylvia Likens (Ellen Page) who was "brutally beaten, burned, starved and tortured to death" in 1965 Indiana, Kim said the film was difficult to watch. "The real question ... is not just how the Sylvia Likens case could have happened, but why situations like this happen at all -- and still do." Catherine Keener and James Franco also star. The DVD doesn't appear to have any supplemental material.
On the lighter side, Bharat Nalluri's Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day "is a nearly perfect piece of entertainment for grownups," according to James Rocchi. Frances McDormand plays a down-on-her-luck British governess and Amy Adams essays her employer, an American singer / actress in late 1930s London. The DVD includes a "making of," deleted scenes, and "Miss Pettigrew's Long Trip to Hollywood."