Before I Go to Sleep France, Sweden, UK 2014 – 92min.

Movie Rating

Before I Go to Sleep

Movie Rating: Hela Khamarou

40-year-old Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) suffers from amnesia in the wake of an attack. Every morning, she wakes up next to her husband Ben (Colin Firth) with no memory of the last 20 years. With the help of a doctor – and without telling her husband – she uses a digital camera to keep a visual diary of what happens every day. This helps her recall the flashes of memory from the attack, but it also makes her realize her husband is hiding things from her. Determined to discover the truth, Christine investigates to find out just whom Ben is trying to protect …

A psychological thriller whose captivating tone rests on its two stars, this movie is a mix of 50 First Dates and Memento. Directed by Rowan Joffé, it suffers from overly long parts and a lack of originality. Kidman is perfect as the frightened victim (but even that gets boring after a while); Colin Firth wants to prove once again that he can play more ambiguous and dark roles; and Mark Strong plays the doctor who falls for Christine as he tries to help.

Joffé seems to be trying to make Kidman into a Hitchcock girl, confined in a huge house in the middle of nowhere, trading her lost memory for a digital one that could also be erased in one click. But to work, Hitchcock’s principle rests on suspense created by the fear of a heroine in a trap. Even though Kidman is trapped, she is also in role that gets increasingly repetitive. The second part of the movie has more rhythm, but could do without the last melodramatic scene that just bogs everything down.

10.11.2020

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