Saturday, November 01, 2014

Before I Go to Sleep

Tonight I saw Before I Go to Sleep, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.

Chris Lucas (Kidman) wakes up every day remembering nothing about her life for the past 18 years. She's 40, but in her head, she's 22. During the day her husband (Colin Firth) tries to catch her up by placing post-it notes and photos around the house, reminding her of their life, but by the time she retains it all, it's time for bed.

Her amnesia is the result of a traumatic attack she suffered at the hands of a mystery man several years ago. He was never caught or punished due to her lack of recollection about the incident.

Attempting to help her is Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), who has developed an experimental therapy that has Chris recording a diary on camera each night. He hopes that the ritual will gradually begin to bring things back for her, but decides to remove himself from her case when he becomes too close to her.

Her instincts tell her that there are people in her life who should not be trusted, but determining who causes her great peril.

Kidman is convincing as a confused, disturbed woman trying to piece together her history from conflicting stories and evidence; Firth is effortlessly handsome (as usual) and compassionate as he's forced to repeat the same retelling of his wife's life every day.

I'll have to admit I found this story very depressing until the unexpected twist took hold of the plot and turned it upside down. I didn't see it coming, though I suspect if I went back and watched it again, the clues would all be there staring me in the face.

What started as a quiet drama evolved into a nail-biting thriller with a an ending that gave the characters a well-deserved exploration.

One of the nicest surprises I've had at the cinema in a while.



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