Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff
Directed By: Rowan Joffe
Written By: Rowan Joffe
Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 32 min
You know, if you’re going to tweak a well-worn mystery plot with an amnesiac, you had better make sure your movie is memorable! Because if you don’t, it opens up a bunch of humorous possibilities for critics/bloggers when they sit down to type out their notes.
Now what was I talking about? Oh yes, Before I Go to Sleep. See? I had better hurry, the memory of this forgettable movie is slipping away fast. I told you – it’s like critic comedic catnip!
The difference between this movie and a well produced BBC TV drama? The cast. That’s it. Put lesser known, but decent actors in these roles, air it on a Friday night in the UK, and you’ll likely get a decent response from the 45+ year old crowd, looking to consume something semi-entertaining, without being challenged too much.
If I’m honest though, this movie was better than I was expecting, and I think that’s mainly due to the convincing performance from Nicole Kidman. As a woman waking up everyday to find out she’s 40 years old (she thinks she’s in her 20’s), an ‘age’ horror many women (and men too) try to ignore, Kidman successfully communicates that daily confusion well.
As we learn more about her surroundings and the people controlling her life, the story does present some interesting twists and turns, and results in a reasonably satisfying conclusion. But we’ve seen this kind of movie many times before, and giving one of the characters amnesia isn’t a big enough twist to warrant a trip to the movie theater to watch, what is in essence, a TV movie.
This is a reasonably produced and acted thriller, but very familiar. It’ll likely appeal to an older audience, who may get some enjoyment out of trying to guess the story’s plot twists. One word of advice though, do not visit the IMDB* page for this film, as it will spoil the movie’s biggest twist. This movie is rated R due to some short, but brutal scenes of violence, and some bad language.
This really belongs on a TV in my opinion. If you can’t wait to rent it, take on a matinée and save some cash. At home a HD viewing on your TV, laptop or tablet will service this film well enough.
Nicole Kidman’s performance is the best thing about this film.
* Viewing the IMDB page as of 11/2/2014 – the page for this film will give away the movie’s main plot twist.