CHARACTER: Samantha Kingston
DIRECTED BY: Ry Russo-Young
SCREENPLAY BY
: Maria Maggenti
BASED ON THE NOVEL BY: Lauren Oliver
PRODUCED BY: Matthew Kaplan, Brian Robbins, Jonathan Shestack
GENRE: Drama | Mystery
RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2017
RUNTIME: 1 hour, 38 minutes
OTHER CAST: Halston Sage, Cynthy Wu
Before I Fall is a 2017 American drama film directed by Ry Russo-Young and written by Maria Maggenti, based on the 2010 novel of same name by Lauren Oliver. The film stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Jennifer Beals, Diego Boneta and Elena Kampouris.

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Synopsis

What if you had only one day to change absolutely everything? Samantha Kingston has it all: the perfect friends, the perfect guy, and a seemingly perfect future. Then, everything changes. After one fateful night, Sam wakes up with no future at all. Trapped reliving the same day over and over she begins to question just how perfect her life really was. And as she begins to untangle the mystery of a life suddenly derailed, she must also unwind the secrets of the people closest to her, and discover the power of a single day to make a difference, not just in her own life, but in the lives of those around her – before she runs out of time for good.

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Trivia
  • During the trailer of the film and early in the film, Sam is about to have a class on Sisyphus. Those familiar with the myth will know this refers to Sisyphus, who was forced by the god to push a massive boulder up a hill endlessly for eternity. Coinciding well with Sam’s story, Sam struggles with the task of the futility of being unable to change her fate until she comes to an epiphany, similar to Sisyphus.
  • The movie was filmed in 24 days.
  • Filming Locations
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Character Quotes
  • Samantha Kingston: If I was going to live the same day over and over, I wanted it to mean something… and not just to me
  • Quotes from Zoey
  • “I read the script and burst into tears. It isn’t just a teen movie; it questions mortality and purpose and not taking things for granted — who you want to be when you die. It definitely made me do a lot of self-reflection. There’s a sign in the movie that says, “Become who you are,” and that really spoke to me. Becoming who you are isn’t a one-stop shot, it’s a forever process and there’s no right or wrong time to do it. It’s been moving to see the way that people react. After a screening in Toronto, I saw people picking up strangers’ trash and opening the door for other people — small acts of kindness. The weight of storytelling became that much clearer to me in that moment: in an hour and a half, you could potentially make someone want to be a better person. I don’t mean to get political here, but in a time of unparalleled meanness, it’s good to be kind to yourself and others. I’m happy to put a little compassion into the world.”
    — First thoughts on Before I Fall
  • “Prepare yourself. Get a snack. It’s like a bedtime story because it’s so complicated. The irony, by the way, of shooting a movie all about not having enough time is that we did not have enough time to shoot this film. It’s a small, independent movie, and it was a very quick and intense shooting experience. I’m someone who likes to be super prepared, so before shooting I had time with my teachers and Ry to break everything down: scene by scene, prop by prop, moment by moment. It’s hard to explain in a concise way, but we shot every scene at least six times for at least six “days,” often in non-sequential order: we’d shoot my close-up of day 1, day 6, day 4, day 3, day 5, and then we’d go into a wide shot and shoot the master of day 5 and day 2. It would never be in the same order, just depending on lighting or costume or cast or crew. Ry and I created a shorthand: different names and colors and subtleties for the days. When we didn’t have enough time, we had to decide which day was most important for that scene, or get two days in the same take. It was daunting, but also an exciting challenge, honestly.”
    — On shooting the same day over and over
  • “Depending on your life, experiences and relationships, it speaks to people in different ways. For me it just reiterated that I should never take my family for granted and that I can never be too grateful or too appreciative of them and their love.”
    — On the message she hopes audiences take away from the movie
  • “We’ve seen these kinds of movies made, written and directed by men. I certainly can’t write and speak to the experience of a middle-aged man, right? So I just loved that it felt so authentic.”
    — On the movie having a female director, writer and author
  • “While there’s romance, and, yes, there’s humor, it just delved so much deeper than most teenage dramas,” she says. “[Director Ry Russo-Young and I] both have been teenage girls — we know what it’s like, we know how hard it is.”
    — On the movie being centered around character development
  • “I think it would have been impossible to do this movie and play this beautiful character without doing some serious self-reflecting. I’m extremely blessed with a really supportive, loving family. It just reiterated that I can never appreciate or love my family too much. It’s very easy to take it for granted. That just brought it right back in front of me. You can never say “I love you” or hug them or say “thank you” too many times.”
    — On how the movie help her reflect on her own life
  • “One of the beautiful things about this movie is that Sam is not a hero or a villain. It shines a light on the fact that she’s a bully and she is bullied. She exists in the world between those things and she isn’t the stereotypical figure and that she’s a walking contradiction of herself. And that people are really capable of really good and really bad and there’s something really beautiful about embracing that. And an understanding that just because somebody does something “bad” doesn’t make them bad. Their flaws don’t define them. Or they shouldn’t. As long they embrace that and they acknowledge it and learn from it. No matter how cool or famous or rich or popular you are, you still feel [you’re] on the outside.”
    — On if she ever questioned any of the characters choices after the movie
  • Reviews & Reception

    Before I Fall received generally mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a rating of 67% based on 96 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Before I Fall’s familiar ingredients are enlivened by a fresh YA perspective and a strong performance from emerging star Zoey Deutch.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 58 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “B” on an A+ to F scale.

    Abbey Bender of Uproxx gave the film a generally positive review and praised Ry Russo-Young’s direction, noting: “Before I Fall ends disappointingly with a moment of sacrifice that feels too heavy handed. Along the way, though, there are plenty of scenes of compellingly lush nature and teenage girlhood.”

    Promotion

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    On January 20, 2017 Zoey and the Before I Fall cast made their debut at Sundance Film Festival, in Utah. The cast promoted the movie, which had its premiere at the festival the following day.

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    On February 10, 2017 Zoey began promoting Before I Fall. She attended a book signing at Barnes & Nobles with the cast on February 13, followed by the first screening of the movie in Los Angeles. The New York screening of Before I Fall happened on February 28, followed by its Los Angeles premiere on March 1.

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    Zoey made a couple of TV and radio appearances, while promoting the movie. Bellow you will find a list of the appearances, followed by a direct link to photos and media.

    Official Trailer