The Life Before This (1999)

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Exploring concepts of fate and free will, Jerry Ciccoritti's contemplative drama shows the lives of a handful of random people during the 12 hours leading up to a bloody shooting spree in a posh coffee shop. Maggie (Emily Hampshire) is a waitress in the café whose acting career is going nowhere fast. Her co-worker Connie (Sarah Polley), who is learning to love her lawyer boyfriend, is supposed to have the day off. Sheena (Catherine O'Hara), who frequents the shop, is a lovelorn bridal consultant looking for a decent man. And Brian (Stephen Rea), an exterminator/philosopher, is still mourning the death of his daughter, who died a year ago. Their petty, everyday problems gain ironic resonance when juxtaposed with the day's bloody ending. This film was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival.

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