Director: Rowan Joffe
Writer: Rowan Joffe
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong
Studio: Clarius Entertainment

“Before I Go To Sleep” is “50 First Dates” if it was directed by Christopher Nolan. Mark Strong has to help Nicole Kidman remember everything in her life, after a vicious attack robbed her of long-term memory nearly 20 years ago. Colin Firth plays her husband, as he tries desperately to put up with her situation. Unfortunately, the film turns into Kidman hunting down the origins of her condition. Did you like “Memento”? What if they turned down the tempo and tempered the editing? Would it feel like it was 8 hours long? Well, welcome to this movie.

Nicole Kidman tries to play mature and she’s not terrible in the lead role. The issue is that it’s painfully obvious who damaged her mind from about twenty minutes into the movie. It’s very hard to stay concerned with the plot when there’s such a huge red flag given prominent billing and dialogue through the movie. I’ve never read the original novel, so I don’t know if the material was in the original work. That being said, the conceit of the wife’s long-lost friend knowing the true origins of everything just feels trite.

I can’t say that it’s a bad movie. However, it’s a maelstrom of dumb plotting and character development given life with British trappings. If you dig random bits of trivia, this is the last film that’s ever going to be shot on Fuji 35mm film stock. I hope that Fuji got an apology from the production team, but weird records and trivia are what make Hollywood history. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I appreciate any film that gives Colin Firth the chance to play a weirdo. Firth does exceptionally well when his role gets re-framed. However, it’s a lot of work to get to that point.


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