Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Number Rolled: 3
Movie Name/Year: Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
Tagline: Who do you trust?
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Drama
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Scott Free Productions, Millennium Films, Film i Vast, Filmgate Films, StudioCanal
Producer: Jack Arbuthnott, Jenny Borgars, Boaz Davidson, Kristina Dubin, Carlo Dusi, Mark Gill, Peter Heslop, Avi Lerner, Liza Marshall, Alexander O'Neal, Matthew O'Toole, Danny Perkins, Lonnie Ramati, Ridley Scott, Trevor Short, Tony Scott
Director: Rowan Joffe
Writer: Rowan Joffe, S.J. Watson
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Ben Crompton, Anne-Marie Duff, Adam Levy, Dean-Charles Chapman, Gabriel Strong, Flynn MacArthur
Stunt Doubles: Rick English, Rory Mulroe

Blurb from Netflix: After surviving a brutal assault, a woman awakens each morning incapable of remembering anything about her past, including the previous day.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was a relatively savage film.

I thought I had Before I Go to Sleep pegged from the very beginning, but it kept throwing me twists that changed my mind. The plot had a few holes in it, but I was able to suspend disbelief – for the most part. Most of the holes could be filled by just explaining that the world is fully of stupid and/or lazy people. Since that’s a statement I believe rather thoroughly anyway, it was easy to fall back on that thought.

Of course, I don’t think films or books should allow their plots to need to fall back on someone’s personal philosophy of the world… but that’s a different story.

It’s easy to make an excuse for the plot holes because the movie was engulfing. I was invested in it, I wanted to like it, so I make excuses for it.

Nicole Kidman (The Beguiled, Lion, The Paperboy) didn’t impress me here. I think she tried so hard to enunciate that her words all came out making her sound like a teenager trying to lie to her parents. A young teenager. Before they learn how to do it properly.

Due to the fact that Kidman played an amnesiac that didn’t really know her own life, her method worked. She seemed kind of confused, like she didn’t really know what the script was about so… reality and fantasy meshed here.

For the most part, the film wasn’t bad. It got me to tear up a bit in the end and I was sucked into it. I’d recommend it.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie was a refreshing change of pace after the dud that we started the week with. I had high expectations for this film, considering the powerhouse cast and intriguing premise. I’m glad to tell you that I wasn’t let down.

I have gushed about Nicole Kidman (Nine, Strangerland, Queen of the Desert) before, so I’ll try to refrain from revisiting that. Instead, I just can’t help but note that this was her second of three films released in 2014. The first of that year was our previously reviewed Grace of Monaco (2014), and her third was Paddington (2014). Talk about a rollercoaster tour of her range – starting with a dramatic historical biopic, transitioning to a nuanced thriller mystery, and then a family movie about a talking bear.

Like the clothes-wearing bear film, this one was also based on a book. As usual, I’m now highly curious what other layers to the story might not have made the final edit cut, or even the script. Regardless of whatever elements of the novel’s plot didn’t make the transition from page to screen, I didn’t feel anything lacking.

Before I Go to Sleep succeeded in keeping the wool pulled over my eyes as it played a cunning chess match with its audience. When the mystery began to unravel and the film moved in for checkmate against my unsuspecting mind, it was a chilling moment. I think I actually covered my mouth with my hands as my jaw dropped.

Of course, Kidman wasn’t alone on the screen. Colin Firth (Dorian Gray, Devil's Knot, Bridget Jones's Baby) and Mark Strong (The Eagle, Zero Dark Thirty, The Siege of Jadotville) gave me no reason to complain. Everyone was strong in their roles here. I was buying what they were selling like a doomsday prepper at a bulk warehouse store clearance sale.

My only wish in moving forward from this movie is that there had been more of it. That being said, I think they did hit a good length. My sentiment stems from not wanting to leave the characters I’d become attached to behind.

I would certainly be willing to recommend this film and wouldn’t mind watching it again, myself.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 36%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 40%
Metascore - 41/100
Metacritic User Score – 5.2/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 4/5

Movie Trailer:

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