The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Before I Go To Sleep | Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong | Review

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3sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE Judy Thorburn

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3lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is MEDIOCRE


Before I Go To Sleep

Writer/director Rowan Joffe's (The American) film adaptation of SJ Watson's 2011 best selling novel stars Nicole Kidman as Christine Lucas, a 40 year old British woman who suffers from amnesia as the result of a vicious attack that left her near death. Every morning she wakes up with no memory of what she did the day before or, for that matter, the past 20 years.

The man she shares a bed and home with says he is her husband Ben (Colin Firth), whom she married 14 years ago, although she has no recollection and depends on him to fill in the empty spaces of her mind on a daily basis as well as photos and post it notes plastered around the house. According to Ben, her amnesia was the result of a traumatic car accident that took place 4 years ago.

We soon discover that Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong) a neuropsychiatrist has been calling Christine secretively every morning after Ben leaves for work to introduce himself and remind her to check her video diary on her digital camera he advised her to store away in a hidden box in her closet. This way she can check the recording she made before going to sleep to remind her the next morning of the memories from the previous day.

As the mystery unfolds questions arise as to whom Christine can trust. To begin with, Ben and her doctor relay conflicting versions of her accident. Is it because Ben is just trying to protect the woman he says he loves, or is there more to meet the eye as Christine begins to experience occasional flashbacks that help piece together fragments of her life. We also have to ask why the mysterious Dr. Nasch insists on keeping his conversations and personal meetings with her a secret from Ben.

Unfortunately, the scenario demands that you suspend disbelief and logic and go with the flow in spite of the glaring plot holes, implausible elements, unanswered questions, and pieces of the puzzle that don't fit. There is little that makes any sense.

Despite the flawed script, Kidman is effective as the desperate woman trying to keep her sanity as major details of her forgotten life slowly emerge.  Firth and Strong are also good in the respective roles.

'Before I Go To Sleep' starts with an interesting premise, yet fails to stay on track as a well crafted, believable, psychological thriller. Delivering a fair share of suspense, it won't put you to sleep, but it is forgettable.


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