Vadim Perelman -- whose second feature, The Life Before Her Eyes, opened last weekend -- is "the kind of guy who would've flourished in the indie drama-happy '90's," writes Steve Zeitchik for The Hollywood Reporter. "Now he's caught between the prestige world and the indie one." Zeitchik is referring to the fact that both of Perelman's films have been small, niche-oriented releases, even though they've included movie stars (House of Sand and Fog starred Ben Kingsley).

Zeitchik thinks that Life is "representative of the cold climate for indie drama, even the more ambitious kind," explaining why it was released in-house through Magnolia Pictures rather than getting a deal with a larger distributor. I have a lot of admiration for Perelman after witnessing the devastating climax of House, and Life suggests that he prefers to stick with downbeat narratives. Movies with depressing narratives are never alluring to distributors, and even those bold enough to pick up such titles have a hard time getting them out there. Consider Warner Independent Picture's low key release of David Gordon Green's brilliant-but-depressing Snow Angels earlier this year.