Director Rowan Joffe, most famous for giving us 2007’s 28 Weeks Later and 2010’s The American starring George Clooney, is back with a new drama starring Nicole Kidman. Originally a bestselling 2011 novel by S. J. Watson, Before I Go To Sleep follows the story of Christine, a woman who has suffered with a horrible trauma-induced amnesia for the past fourteen years. Every night, her mind erases the previous day and when she awakes, her husband (Colin Firth) fills her in on what’s she can’t remember. At least, that’s what he tells her.
The accident that led to Christine’s amnesia is a violent one, and PluggedIn’s Bob Hoose warns that “seeing a fragile, set-upon woman slapped viciously and then beaten bloody and senseless on numerous occasions is, to say the least, unsettling.” Hoose adds that Kidman’s performance “makes us want to care for her delicate, nerve-jangled and memory-deprived character.” Despite this, Hoose claims the film “seems almost too intimate and character-focused,” making it seem like Before I Go To Sleep “might have made a much better stage play than a big-screen movie.” The New York Times’ Stephen Holden calls the film a “preposterous thriller” fueled by “hoary soap-opera device, amnesia.” Holden says the movie’s biggest asset is Firth who “proves he can play nasty as well as nice.” Overall, Holden suggests that without Firth and Kidman’s killer performances, Before I Go To Sleep “would be an unwatchable, titter-inducing catastrophe.”
The last Keira Knightley film we reviewed over here at Christianity Today Movies was Begin Again, the musical ...1
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