Now In Theaters
Bullock Carries 'Premonition'
Is "clairvoyant" the right label for her character, Linda? She wakes up one morning in her perfect house. Her perfect-looking husband (Julian McMahon of "Fantastic Four") has left on a business trip. She jogs, deals with her two daughters, checks her phone messages. Then, the doorbell rings, a cop tells her there's been an accident. Her husband is dead "out by mile marker 220."
She grieves. She feels guilty. The marriage had problems.
There's a funeral, her mother (Kate Nelligan) comes to help her cope. Another night's sleep, she finds a bottle of tranquilizers prescribed for her. That's funny. Because this morning, her husband isn't dead.
Reality and dream criss and cross in this script by Bill Kelly, directed by German filmmaker Mennan Yapo. That criss-crossing robs the movie of much of its power. The twisting threads are so knotted up that only this much is clear _ Linda has seen the future. Can she change it? Will she?
One morning, Jim is dead. The next, her daughter is covered in stitches. Another day, Jim steps out of the shower. Followed by a morning where every mirror in the house is covered, and mourners fill her living room. Then, she wakes up again, back to a day or two before the accident.
Linda tracks down the doctor who prescribed her pills, and the fact that he's played by "Fargo" villain Peter Stormare puts us on our guard. There was a good-looking blonde (Amber Valletta), hiding at the funeral. Who is she?
There's so much switching back and forth in "Premonition" that you almost lose track of two characters that have this marvelous arc that they pass through. But Bullock makes us care about what happens by sheer force of personality. She's shocked, she's fearful, she's angry, she's mortified. Often, in her stillness, we see that she's resigned to this grim "Groundhog Day" she's living and re-living.
"Maybe it was supposed to happen."
Dark humor sneaks in as Linda becomes more numbed to the tragedies that keep repeating themselves in her life. But some scenes of accidents we see coming, and dread, are painful to watch.
And Bullock, moving on from the comedies she hasn't been able to pull off in years, makes that pain so real to Linda that we feel it, too. Maybe she can't generate the giggles she once did. But she can still bring us to tears.