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

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

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Before I Go to Sleep
Written by
Rowan Joffe
Directed 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.

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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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About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

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