Tuesday, October 28, 2014

“Before I Go To Sleep”– Movie Review



This week, I attended a screening by The New York Times Film Club of the new mystery, “Before I Go To Sleep”, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.


When a woman loses her memory after an injury, she tries to put the pieces of her life together – but in doing so, will she be able to trust either her therapist or her husband?


To say that Christine (Kidman) is facing an uphill battle is putting it mildly.  When she wakes up, not only is she unable to remember what happened the previous day, she can’t remember anything about her life.  Basically, she has to spend the entire day attempting to re-acquire her memories – but when she finally does so by the end of the day, it’s time to go to sleep and she’ll have to face the same challenges again the next morning when she awakens.  Not even her husband Ben (Firth) seems to be able to sufficiently jog her memory. 

Christine is surprised to learn that she is under the care of Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), a psychologist who has been attempting some unorthodox methods to treat her amnesia; one of which is supplying Christine with a digital camera that he instructs her to use each day to record videos in which she talks about the information about her life that she has learned that day.  One thing that puzzles Christine, though, is the fact that Ben and Dr. Nasch have given her conflicting information about how she came to be an amnesiac:  Ben informs her she had a car accident while Dr. Nasch insists that she was attacked. 

Soon, Christine is provided with another link to her past – her best friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff), who tries to help her fill in the gaps in her recollections.  With new knowledge about her background, Christine is not sure whether she is being deceived by either Ben or Dr. Nasch.  Added to the mix are rumors about her son Adam, whom Christine is given to understand may have perished in the same accident that caused her amnesia and Christine becomes further confused.  After being inundated with facts about her history from various sources, will Christine be able to believe any of them or is she destined to forever be left in the dark?


Here’s a question for you:  When was the last time you saw a dramatic movie in a theater and – in its final heart-wrenching scene that’s supposed to wrap up the story – hear a section of the audience laugh at its ending?  Well, while you mull that one over, perhaps seeing “Before I Go To Sleep” may be your next opportunity to do so.  At least, that is what happened at this evening’s screening.  To be sure, not everyone laughed; I certainly didn’t.  Neither did the guy sitting behind me; he simply snorted and exclaimed, “Oh, come on now!”. 

All of this should give you a reasonably good idea of what to expect from “Before I Go To Sleep”; not only is this not recommended to see in the theaters, it may not even be worth a rental.  If there’s anything good to say about this movie, it’s the fact that it’s thankfully short at only an hour and a half.  There is also a nude shot of Ms. Kidman early on, but given that we only saw her behind from her behind, it may very well be a body double.  Perhaps it may be best to leave that one for Mr. Skin to sort out for everyone. 

There is a direct correlation between the level of difficulty of writing a review and the quality of the movie being reviewed.  Writing these reviews gets more challenging the worse the reviewed film; at times like this, it can certainly turn into something of a chore, especially when you are passionate about motion pictures.  Enthusiasm rises when a particularly good picture is screened, making the review that much easier to write – and a considerably less sorrowful task, to be sure.  Fortunately, my duty for today has been fulfilled as my penance has been completed.   


Before I Go to Sleep (2014) on IMDb

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