Complete A-Z list

Before I Go to Sleep


Stars: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff

Director: Rowan Joffé

Surprise to find Kidman and Firth (reunited from The Railway Man) in this modest thriller, though it's admittedly elevated by the playing, with Kidman as Christine, an amnesiac, living with her husband Ben (Firth), but unable to remember events from one day to the next, a bit like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Kisses.

She had a son who died from meningitis, then 10 years ago was found beaten and bloodied on a building site, her memory gone. Now Ben has rescued her from a care home, and has photographs pinned to a wall to remind her of their life together. Ah but...

Christine is seeing Dr Nasch (Strong), a psychiatrist who is trying to help her remember the past. Unfair to the film to go any further into its plot, which has too few complications as it is and doesn't develop them quickly enough. Proceedings needed a little something extra to insert some dynamism and muddy the waters a bit more: perhaps it would have helped if Christine's best friend (Duff) had got bumped off!

As it is, the stars give polished, professional performances (much like the superior cinematography of Ben Davis), although they don't cut too deep; and the film will satisfy well enough on a rainy afternoon.

David Quinlan

UK 2013. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by deluxe.
91 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 03 Sep 2014