Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep
Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong

Rated: R for some brutal violence and language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: October 31, 2014 Released by: Clarius Entertainment

A high-concept, twisty amnesia thriller locates some indirect poignancy that tries for pertinence based on uncertainty and distrust. As well as those red-herrings.

Before I Go To Sleep appears to be ideally cast with Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong leading the way and firmly centered on the former's way as Christine (with a disparate visage) to fill in the missing pieces of her life.

Christine was a victim of an attack and now every time she awakens she thinks she's still in her early 20s than really 40 as patient husband Ben (Firth) informs her. When he leaves for work neurologist Dr. Nash (Strong) calls in to assist in this recollection process (against Ben's wishes). Dr. Nash wants the skeptical Christine to keep a video diary as the vicissitudes of fortune seem to have a bipolar tampering courtesy of director/writer Rowan Joffe (writer of The American).

The crux of amped-up melodrama as what Christine wades through may be more interesting for the viewer than her as she questions her conclusions and her support system. Could Dr. Nash and Ben be saviors or potential lunatics. The inability to store memories will remind moviegoers of its use in the cinematic
Mobius strip Memento and the comedy 50 First Dates. In closing the gap from her instincts and brain function mundane clues can be crucial as she at last meets up with friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff of Nowhere Boy, who keeps the trepidations on the back-burner in her effective appearances).

Before I Go To Sleep is capably edited and film but not very absorbing because of a willingness to obfuscate as misdirection on the part of key members of the cast offers an intriguing texture while Joffe turns out to be disapproving of those trying to figure out the narrative on their own. So, the veering from joy to freakiness strains with unexpected assaults and a maudlin abundance of tenderness. It just essentially may be too risible as Kidman can't really rise above Christine's vacuity as Firth and Strong are able to sift through the roles with more sentience to the ideal unnerving pervading mood. One wished their thespian agility could have extended to what should have been a simmering, more adroit sum of its hazy, often dubious parts.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Before I Go to Sleep  C      C+   C-                  C 

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