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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Movie Review - Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Anne-Marie Duff
Directed by Rowan Joffe
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

Considering the strength of the actors involved, Before I Go to Sleep had the potential of being a solid thriller.  Unfortunately, the combined talents of Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Anne-Marie Duff (all of whom I've certainly liked in things in the past) can't save a script that keeps hitting the same beats over and over again making this 90-minute flick a bit of a snooze.

Kidman plays Christine, a forty year-old woman who wakes up every morning unaware of who she is and where she's been for the last decade.  Next to her every single morning is Ben (Firth), her husband of fourteen years who strives to make the best of his wife's unfortunate situation which came about after a horrible accident caused trauma to her head.  Also trying to help Christine is Dr. Nasch (Strong) who gives Christine a camera to record her thoughts and memories throughout her day in an attempt to jog her mind the next morning.  However, Dr. Nasch seems to believe that Ben is not being entirely forthcoming with Christine and he may be hiding some dark secret from her.  Christine, on the other hand, begins to question whether Dr. Nasch is someone she can even trust.  This constant uncertainty plagues Christine and she can't help but question if she is truly safe in her own home.

I'll give Before I Go to Sleep credit in that admittedly I didn't peg the ending in director/screenwriter Rowan Joffe's flick.  I probably should have -- it's not like it was incredibly off-the-wall or unfathomable -- but I did wind up a tiny bit surprised at the end.  Unfortunately, the film's inherent flaw is that when Christine loses her memory and wakes up the next morning, we in the audience are constantly bombarded with her need to relearn everything again.  We seemingly witness the same scenes over and over and over again with the tiniest minutiae of changes.  While I understand this is a way for Joffe to allow us to connect with the film's dazed protagonist, it just wears out its welcome very quickly and it bogs down the film to an almost unwatchable point halfway through.

Credit certainly goes to the quartet of actors listed above who all make the most of what they've been given here.  Firth and Kidman in particular more than carry the film and strive to elevate it above the level of a television movie.  I'm not quite sure they achieve that goal, but their attempts are admirable.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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