While expecting her husband home from a business trip, Sandra Bullock receives word that he has died. But the next morning, when she wakes up, he is still alive, and hasn’t even left yet on the trip. Next morning, he’s dead again, and it’s the day of the funeral. Understandably, our poor heroine is a might discombobluated as she deals with having become unmoored in time, struggling to save her sanity, her husband, and her marriage.This film was thoroughly trashed at the time of its theatrical release, and there are, it must be said, plenty of things wrong with it. Some temporal elements are inconsistent as the days move around (why, for instance, does Bullock’s older daughter not show, on the day the news of the husband’s death is received, the facial injuries that she received a few days prior?), the pace flags after a fairly taut first half-hour, a theme of incarceration mysteriously disappears, and the explanation for why this is all happening is weak, not to mention that the purpose for it all is rather pointless. So yeah, all of that is wrong. As a supernatural thriller, the film doesn’t work. But as an old fashioned weepy melodrama, it has a certain daffy power. Bullock gets to chew up the scenery in some wonderfully OTT moments of Grand Guignol soap opera. The film also stays true to the weepie form with its heroic/tragic conclusion. As a piece of whacked entertainment, engaging in no small part because of all the things it does wrong, but also because it takes itself so seriously and plays the emotional heartstings for all they’re worth, this isn’t on part with such classic weepies as Now, Voyager, Stella Dallas or Mildred Pierce, but it could hold its head up alongside the likes of The Other Side of Midnight.
One thing the DVD does extremely well, even where the film falls down, is in conjuring atmosphere. The score is very effective in this regard, as is the placement of the various sound effects, often deployed to startling effect, but always with attention paid to creating a suitably immersive environment. Very nice on the ears.
Nice on the eyes, too, is the transfer. With the caveat noted that my copy of the disc was prone to break-up and freezes, the picture itself is great. It’s as sharp as could be hoped for, and has terrific colours, contrasts, and blacks. No grain anywhere. As long as the freezing problems aren’t common to the pressing, this is a great job. If they are, then that’s a real problem.
The commentary track by Buillock and director Mennan Yapo is pleasant but unexceptional. There are four deleted scenes and an alternate ending, again with optional commentary from Yapo (who is correct in his assessment of the problems with the alternate conclusion). The gag reel has plenty of no-holds-barred clowning from Bullock (how does she get Q-tips to stay up like that?). “Glimpses of the Futre” and “Bringing Order to Chaos” are fairly standard making-of featurettes, with the latter focussing on handling the film’s complicated chronology. “Waking Dreams” and “Seeing the Future” are in the “Real Premonitions” category, and are promotional featurettes disguised as documentaries about these supernatural phenomena. Moosefeathers both, and all the more silly since, title notwithstanding, what Bullock’s character experiences can hardly be called a “premonition.” The usual trailers are also present.
Silly but earnest, flawed but quite watchable, this is a rather charmingly bad movie.