Film review: Before I Go To Sleep (15) 92 minutes

Before I Go To Sleep: Nicole Kidman as Christine Lucas
Before I Go To Sleep: Nicole Kidman as Christine Lucas
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Sweet dreams aren’t made of this

We have already seen a plethora of taut thrillers in 2014, including the independent US features Blue Ruin and Cold In July and gritty British films Locke and Starred Up.

With David Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl looming on the horizon, this is undoubtedly a year when audiences will catch themselves returning to filthy habits and biting their nails in the dark of an unbearably tense cinema.

Before I Go To Sleep is guaranteed to jangle nerves and drop a few jaws as summer mellows into autumn. Based on SJ Watson’s bestselling novel, this ingenious thriller places us in exactly the same hellish predicament as the heroine, who wakes up each morning without any memory of the past, including her own identity.

Following a car accident, Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman, right) is diagnosed with anterograde amnesia.

Each morning, she wakes in a strange bed next to a man she does not know and creeps into the adjacent bathroom where a series of photographs on the wall begin to fill in the blanks, letting her know that the man is husband Ben (Colin Firth) and they have shared many happy years together.

Then she receives a mysterious telephone call from someone called Dr Nash (Mark Strong), who instructs her to look in the wardrobe.

“We’ve been keeping a video diary. I’m not sure Ben knows,” confides the medic.

The subsequent footage casts doubt on the facts that underpin Christine’s fragile existence.

“Don’t trust anyone!” whispers Christine to herself in the diary, tears glistening in her eyes. As she reconnects with best friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff), contradictory testimonies drive her to the brink of insanity.

The guessing game of who to trust is part of the film’s diabolical appeal and the script engineers some wonderful bluffs until a gasp-inducing big reveal that should have audiences teetering precariously on the edge of their seats.


Thriller/Romance/Action. Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff. Director: Rowan Joffe.