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Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

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A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her.

Director:

Rowan Joffe

Writers:

Rowan Joffe, S.J. Watson (based on the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nicole Kidman ... Christine
Colin Firth ... Ben
Mark Strong ... Dr. Nasch
Ben Crompton ... Warehouse Caretaker
Anne-Marie Duff ... Claire
Adam Levy ... Ben
Gabriel Strong Gabriel Strong ... Boy on Bike
Flynn MacArthur Flynn MacArthur ... Boy in Dream (as Flynn Macarthur)
Dean-Charles Chapman ... Adam
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Storyline

Forty seven year old Christine Lucas wakes up in bed with a man she does not know, in an unfamiliar house. The man explains that he is her husband, Ben, and that she suffered brain damage from a car accident ten years earlier. Christine wakes up every morning with no memory of her life from her early twenties onwards. Christine receives treatment from Dr. Nasch, a neurologist at a local hospital who provides her a camera to record her thoughts and progress each day, and calls her every morning to remind her to watch the video in the camera. Soon, she starts to discover the truth around her. Written by Nebzyl

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Who Do You Trust? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some brutal violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | France | Sweden

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Antes de despertar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,843,347, 31 October 2014

Gross USA:

$2,963,012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last feature film to use Fuji 35mm film stock. Production of this film stock ceased at this time. See more »

Goofs

Just after Christine wakes from a nightmare, we hear Dr.Nasch on the phone explaining he's a neuropsychologist at University College, London; but in the next scene she sees his name badge, which shows he works at Westland Psychiatric Hospital. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christine: Who are you?
Ben: I'm your husband... Ben.
Christine: What?
Ben: We got married in 1999. That was 14 years ago. Christine, you're 40.
[hands her her clothes]
Ben: You had an accident. It was a bad accident. You had head injuries. And you have problems remembering things.
Christine: What things? What...?
Ben: Everything. You store up information for a day, and when you wake up in the morning, it's all gone. You're back to your early 20s. You'll be okay. Just... trust me.
Christine: I'm scared.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Fringe (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

You Keep Me Hangin' On
Performed by The Supremes
Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier (uncredited) and
Eddie Holland (as Holland, James Jnr)
Published by Jobete Music/EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Operations Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An intriguing if not entirely effective meditation on love, memory and identity.
5 November 2014 | by shawneofthedeadSee all my reviews

In a very real way, our memories are who we are - our identities as individuals depend in an almost terrifying way upon our ability to remember what we do (and what we've done), why we do it, and whom we love. That's why the notion of memory-making (and losing) looms so very large in the art we create. In the cinematic realm alone, characters whose memories are sorely compromised have starred in thrillers (Memento), romantic comedies (50 First Dates) and weepies (The Notebook). Before I Go To Sleep, based on the novel by S.J. Watson, is a chilling if not entirely effective blend of family drama and thriller, trading on the heartache and horror that comes with losing oneself every single day.

Christine (Nicole Kidman) wakes up every morning with no memory of the last fifteen years of her life. Ben (Colin Firth), the stranger who shares her life and bed, informs her that he is her husband and that she lost her ability to make new memories after a bad car accident several years ago. Any attempt to forge lasting memories seems futile - and yet, Christine tries. She receives a phone call from Dr. Nasch (Mark Strong), a neurologist who assures her that they've been working to improve her condition. He reminds her that she's been keeping a video diary every day: one that, upon review, suggests that Ben is not telling her the whole truth about their shared life and history.

It's to writer-director Rowan Joffe's credit that he mostly manages to make a very personal - and inevitably repetitive - journey of discovery both cinematic and chilling. As Christine awakes each day with her memory reset, Joffe finds inventive and intriguing ways to ramp up the spinetingling alienation she feels from her own life and husband. He captures Christine's terror, doubt and paranoia in the shuddery footage she takes of herself while hidden away in the bathroom from a husband she doesn't recognise. As the wheels within the narrative spin and turn, Joffe's camera makes villains and heroes out of everybody: Ben, in particular, shifts from one to the other on an almost daily basis, as Christine doubts and then trusts the love this man must have for her to stay by her side for so many years.

Unfortunately, Joffe can't quite sustain the tension throughout - the film sags noticeably in parts, as Christine flounders miserably between very few choices. There are many twists, as she uncovers people and secrets in her past that will inevitably disappear from her grasp within a day, including a final doozy of a revelation. But Joffe winds up wasting much of this tension and intrigue with an oddly definitive ending. In a film filled with questions, doubts and uncertainties, it feels completely out of place and emotionally untrue.

Joffe's cast, at least, is unreservedly excellent. Kidman delivers her most fascinating performance in ages, one that's equal parts vulnerable and strong. Her Christine is very much a victim of her circumstances - and possibly her husband - but Kidman skilfully imbues her with a steely determination to reclaim her life and identity against very poor odds. Firth, too, is fantastic, shading both light and darkness into his trademark charm - enough to make us believe that he's the kind of man who could love and/or betray Christine with all of his heart.

It's a shame, then, that the final frames of the film don't live up to its promise or potential. Joffe has hit upon something truly unnerving with his premise: Christine's condition provides the ideal backdrop for either the perfect crime, or a love story for the ages. Before I Go To Sleep quite effectively teeters between the two extremes, as does Christine, but ultimately fails to follow through when the true depths of its darkness are revealed.


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