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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday, August 23, 2014 - Edition No 911 
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PREMONITION

SYNOPSIS:
Linda Hanson (Sandra Bullock) has a beautiful house, a loving husband, Jim (Julian McMahon), and two adorable daughters. Her life is perfect, until the day she receives the devastating news that her husband has died in a car accident. From the time when she wakes up the next morning to find him alive and well, her world is turned upside down as the surreal circumstances confuse her - not to mention her family and friends. As she slips in and out of time with Jim sometimes there and sometimes not, Linda's mother (Irene Ziegler) has Linda sent to a mental hospital for treatment. But Linda is convinced that whatever it is, it's threatening her family and she is desperate to try and stop Jim's death.

Review by Louise Keller:
At times intriguing, often confusing and ultimately frustrating, Premonition jumbles the past and present as Sandra Bullock's young wife and mother tries to change fate.
Filled with inconsistencies - and I'm not referring merely to Bullock's hair colour - the film reduces the profundities of life's wisdoms to the triteness of unexplained phenomenon by the local priest. Whether spiritual forces are at work or Linda is simply a nut case are canvassed as the random Groundhog Day situation presents itself after she hears of her husband's death. Perhaps Bullock has a fascination for time travel and the Sliding Doors phenomenon, since The Lake House contained similar themes - but this intricate puzzle has a manufactured stamp.

'Daddy's better at puzzles; he was going to help us,' Linda's young daughters tell her, as they work on the symbolic jigsaw puzzle laid out on the kitchen table. Not surprisingly, when Linda maps out a calendar of occurrences in order to pinpoint what will happen, she hides it under the tablecloth. The daily routine is quickly established as Linda wakes, showers, makes breakfast, drives the kids to school, does the washing, calls her friend and takes messages from her ansaphone. It is after the bombshell news of her husband's death that life becomes an inexplicable maze. There are pills in the sink, cuts on her daughter's face, a mysterious blonde, Peter Stormare's skeptical Dr Roth and shock therapy. Needless to say she is confused when she wakes on alternate days to find her husband alive and well, before yo-yoing back into the future.

Bullock is as convincing as the script allows, while Julian McMahon is acceptably detached as Linda's husband Jim who has the hots for his colleague Amber Valetta, who played the ditzy heiress in the recent and charming Hitch. Unfortunately we don't overly sympathise with Linda who, for the most part of the film, is a victim. There are some intriguing moments, especially in the establishment stages, but my premonition for the success of the film is less than optimistic.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
When the shrink, Dr Norman Roth (Peter Stormare) weighs up Linda's strange story about her husband being dead and then alive, he says in a mood shift that suggests he may actually believe she is not nuts: "Hmmm ... there are inconsistencies." I imagine he was actually remarking on the film's screenplay in an unguarded moment but the camera was rolling and they kept the take. Premonition declares its subject matter by its title, so be warned. It's about premonition. Also be warned that the inconsistencies are just a minor distraction in this shemozzle of a film.

The last time Sandra Bullock went into supernatural territory was the recent Lake House, in which Keanu Reeves plays the man from the past who romances her in a script that defies its own logic and disappears up its own spiral binding. Why she would choose to take on another film with silly supernatural things happening to her man is anyone's guess. Bullock is a terrific actress, and the camera loves her and Mennan Yapo makes cinematographer Torsten Lippstock shoot her in close up at every opportunity. He especially likes early morning wake up shots. She also does teary very well, the distressed mum, all very effective, but totally wasted here.

The story unfolds in equally tight-up fashion, so that we never get a sense of the time scale - which of course we couldn't follow anyway, since Linda has a premonition (complete with the Sheriff delivering the bad news and attending the funeral) which takes her days ahead. And then she is back in the present. Her memory is linear - except when it doesn't suit the plot. It's all done with dull, earnest intentions. At least the little girls are sweet, but the film quickly becomes a dull echo of the genre. The characters lack definition, the husband's potential infidelity is dragged into the story like a desperate device and the ending is ridiculous.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 0

PREMONITION (M)
(US, 2007)

CAST: Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Nia Long, Amber Valletta, Peter Stormare, Shyann McClure, Courtney Taylor Burness, Irene Ziegler, Kate Nelligan, Marc Macaulay,

PRODUCER: Ashok Armitraj, Jennifer Gibgot, Sunil Perkash, Adam Shankman

DIRECTOR: Mannan Yapo

SCRIPT: Bill Kelly

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Torsten Lippstock

EDITOR: Neil Travis

MUSIC: Klaus Badelt

PRODUCTION DESIGN: J. Dennis Washington

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 19, 2007







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