Before I Disappear

November 28th, 2014


Before I Disappear

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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.

Release Year: 2014

Rating: 7.5/10 (318 voted)

Critic's Score: 43/100

Director: Shawn Christensen

Stars: Shawn Christensen, Fatima Ptacek, Emmy Rossum

A troubled young man and his straight-laced niece embark on a thrilling odyssey through New York City in this heartrending drama based on an Oscar-winning short. As his life hits rock bottom, 20-something Richie decides to end it all, only to have his half-hearted suicide attempt interrupted by an urgent request from his sister to babysit her precocious daughter. So begins a madcap tour of Manhattan after dark, as uncle and niece find unexpected bonds in the unlikeliest of places.

Ron Perlman - Bill
Emmy Rossum - Maggie
Paul Wesley - Gideon
Richard Schiff - Bruce
Fatima Ptacek - Sophia
Stephanie Kurtzuba - Blonde woman
Shawn Christensen - Richie
Victor Cruz - Terry the Doorman (rumored)
Isabelle McNally - Vista
Joseph Perrino - Ellis
Stefano Villabona - Passed Out Mask Party Guy
J. Elaine Marcos - Annoying Woman
Hani Avital - Dead Girl
Sean Ringgold - Devon
James Chen - Chinese Man


Official Website: Official site

Country: USA, UK

Language: English

Release Date: 28 November 2014

Filming Locations: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Based on the 2012 Academy Award winning short film, 'Curfew', also written and directed by Shawn Christensen See more »

User Review


Rating: 8/10

Another fascinating movie from SXSW I got to screen was Before I Disappear, one I wasn't sure I would enjoy but walked out of the room with a few tears streaming down my face, which never happens to me in cinema. Shawn Christensen's direction in this film was positively extraordinary.

From the get go we see our main character Richie surrounded by poor life decisions that keep dragging him further and further down the rabbit hole; unable to crawl out of his own personal horrors and drowning in mournful regret, he decides he's going to end it. That is until he gets the phone call that changes the tone of the movie completely.

A frantic phone call from his estranged sister has him picking up his niece from school and he had no idea why. He goes on an evening of half hallucinated, half sedated, adventures trying to juggle one bad situation while struggling with another. A battle between two bosses, both with whom he feels he owes loyalty; one begging for silence, the other for answers and neither an uncomplicated choice. All the while, he has an 11 year old girl, who is clearly raised to be prim and proper, completely oblivious to the underworld he's trolled, in tow witnessing his digression.

Paul Wesley unquestionably stepped out of his comfort zone and brightly shined in the spotlight as the young club owner and boss in this film. Although both he and Ron Pearlman had minimal roles, it was definitely memorable as you felt the hectic panic in his drugged state and actually sympathized with his situation.

This movie brings the uncomfortable truth to the surface, what it's like to battle with drug addiction, how it feels to suffer with loss and how some people cope with the choices... on the other side of the coin, how the family members tend to deal with these loved ones. I feel this movie did for drug addiction what Silver Linings Playbook did for people coping with being bipolar. It's ugly, it's messy but there are answers.... there is hope. .


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