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Before I Disappear (2014)

 -  Drama  -  10 March 2014 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 139 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 18 critic

At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.

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Title: Before I Disappear (2014)

Before I Disappear (2014) on IMDb 7.8/10

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At the lowest point of his life, Richie gets a call from his estranged sister, asking him to look after his eleven-year old niece, Sophia, for a few hours.

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10 March 2014 (USA)  »

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Curfew  »

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Amazing feature length debut for a writer/director/actor.
22 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A few years ago, Shawn Christensen won an Oscar for his amazing live- action short called Curfew, focused on a man in despair and contemplating suicide that gets the first chance to spend time with his niece, now around 11 years old. The short was very deserving of that Oscar, and Christensen took an interesting route to build on that by starting with that same initial story and fleshing it out into a full feature length film.

On one hand, I would like to see him go into something new with the same finesse that he showed in Curfew, and I feel like there's directions he went here that didn't feel as genuine as some aspects of the same characters in Curfew.

On the other hand, though, he kept many of the key moments and feelings from the short, while fleshing out so much more to it. I do also very much like that Fatima Ptacek returns as Tabitha, the niece, as she had a great performance in the short, and she does just as strong of a job here. This film really wouldn't be as strong as it is without her.

Christensen plays the lead role as well as directing, and while he's good in front of the camera, it's behind the camera that's really what impresses me. The style and flow of the short was good, but he does so much more here, and there's a very strong visual presence in so many scenes that it really sticks with me. This includes not only some of the more fanciful parts, like an expanded version of the music number from the short to simple shots, like the phone on the floor at the start of the film.

What really strikes me is how he managed to take a short and really not dilute it when he extended it out to feature-length, and it still maintains its emotional center, and I think that shows a lot of creativity and skill as both a writer and a director. I really hope that this film does well enough that it opens the doors to more work by Christensen, although I can't help but feel that with the quality of this film, it will do so.


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