Before I Go To Sleep


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"Who do you trust?"

If Hitchcock had made this movie there would have been a sprinkling of humour to soften the fall. As it is writer/director Rowan Joffe relies on twists. Just when you begin to feel safe he throws one at you. Wham! Wow! Didn't see that coming! Who do you trust?

In some respects we are in Memento country. Christine's (Nicole Kidman) memory has collapsed. She can recall the now of now, not the yes of terday, and so becomes ever more dependent upon Ben (Colin Firth), her husband of 14 years.

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A psychiatrist (Mark Strong) calls and they begin a secret liaison, telephonic rather than physical. Each day he introduces himself. Each day they talk. He persuades her to keep a video diary so that she can refer to it when her mind goes blank, but not to mention any of this to Ben.

Things begin to change as knowledge accumulates and certainties crack like ice. Confusion floods those areas of her brain she reconnects with each morning and finds herself tormented by irrational fears that may well be real.

What? Where? Is she a pawn in someone else's chess game? T is for truth; T is for terror. Which?

Kidman digs so deep into Christine's damaged psyche that she appears cauterised. Her body language comes without subtitles and her face is closed like a blind. Firth, on the other hand, conveys a cacophony of contradictions, unexpectedly interesting in a role that undermines his stereotype.

Reviewed on: 17 Aug 2014
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A woman wakes up each day with no memory of what has gone before
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Director: Rowan Joffe

Writer: Rowan Joffe, based on the novel by SJ Watson

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff

Year: 2014

Runtime: 92 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, UK, France, Sweden


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