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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Spring 2014

Before I Go to Sleep (2014) movie review

Time and Again

Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) wakes up every morning to find that she has lost twenty years of her life. She has a form on amnesia that prevents her from making new memories that will persist after she has slept. She and her husband (Colin Firth) live in a perpetual state of rediscovering her life anew every day.

This particular type of amnesia is a scary result of brain injury. Christine's husband offers her a restricted life within the house, with annotated photos on the bathroom wall and locked drawers. When Dr Nash (Mark Strong) offers to help without Ben Lucas knowing Christine and he create a secret video library for her to use to develop a virtual memory of her life.

movie poster, Before I Go To Sleep, Festivale film review; 220x326

Movie poster, Before I Go to Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep is told from the fractured point of view of Christine Lucas, although we the audience get to remember her passing days as she does not. The idea of lost memory, even this kind of persistent memory loss is not new (see also Memento), but the story is well executed and the audience is kept guessing. Who can we/she trust? How was she injured? Who injured her? Is the assailant still in her life?

Writer/director Joffe does a good job keeping the pace going and directing Kidman's performance as a vulnerable woman with little hope for the future and no memory of her adult life.

An interesting interpretation.

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by Ali Kayn
Australian release 16 October 2014
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
Written by: Rowan Joffe (screenplay), S.J. Watson (novel)
Directed by: Rowan Joffe
Running time: 92 mins

The Players: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong

Official website:
IMDb entry

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