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After uncovering a devastating secret, Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) demands the truth from her husband Ben (Colin Firth) in Before I Go to Sleep. (Laurie Sparham/eOne Films)
After uncovering a devastating secret, Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) demands the truth from her husband Ben (Colin Firth) in Before I Go to Sleep. (Laurie Sparham/eOne Films)

Opening today

Before I Go to Sleep: Amnesia plot makes a movie you’d rather forget Add to ...

  • Directed by Rowan Joffe
  • Written by Rowan Joffe
  • Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong
  • Classification 14A
  • Country USA
  • Language English

Plots about amnesia can make for good thrillers (Spellbound, Memento, Mulholland Drive), or just movies you’d rather forget. Before I Go to Sleep, adapted by Rowan Joffe from S.J. Watson’s bestseller, focuses on 40-year-old Christine (a tremulous Nicole Kidman) whose traumatized brain resets her memory to zero each morning when she wakes up in her alienating modernist suburban London home.

Each day, the handsome man in her bed (Colin Firth) introduces himself as her husband, Ben, and dolefully explains that Christine had an accident 13 years ago, then heads off to work.

Next comes a call from stubbly, virile neurologist Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), who, unbeknownst to Ben, treats Christine’s amnesia with video recordings and long drives in the country.

Throbbing musical crescendos and flickery flashbacks abound but apart from some outlandish plot machinations, nothing here is good or bad enough to be memorable.

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