Throughout the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, a secret war took place on the streets of England. For years, women of all ages and classes had fought for their right to vote, although they used politics and reason as their biggest weapon. When no clear results were seen, a specialist group formed a more radical idea - to take the political campaign out of the shadows and into the streets, with protests and fighting to gain what was theirs by right. But as the government fights back even harder, desperate times call for desperate measures.
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A clever premise can't help but grab the audience's attention as this mystery-thriller plays with ideas of identity and memory, but the simplistic filmmaking makes it feel like a cheat. Writer-director Rowan Joffe (2010's Brighton Rock remake) badly underestimates the audience, using melodrama and contrived storytelling to try to manipulate viewers' emotions. And it doesn't help that the leading lady can't move her face.
Nicole Kidman stars as Christine, who wakes up every morning thinking that she's 23. When she discovers Ben (Colin Firth) in her bed, she's almost as horrified as when she sees her 40-year-old face in the mirror. But Ben patiently explains who she is, that he's her husband and that an accident damaged her ability to make new long-term memories. When he leaves for work each day, she is contacted by Dr Nash (Mark Strong), who helps nudge her into the present. But all of this does little more than make Christine wonder whether anyone is telling the truth. As she digs deeper each day, she gets in touch with her friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff), who offers some continuity. And by piecing clues together she begins to realise that there's a gap between what's really happening and what she thinks she remembers.
With elements of both Memento and 50 First Dates, this film is packed with tricky elements that add to the suspense, creating a creepy atmosphere that's surprisingly moving as seen through Christine's eyes. Even with her immobile face, Kidman's eyes are alert and emotive, strongly conveying Christine's yearning to understand the truth. Opposite her, the always terrific Duff has the film's best role simply because she seems to be who she claims to be. Meanwhile, Firth and Strong have a great time wrong-footing both Christine and the audience, or maybe they're just misunderstood. The fascinating premise forces us to sift through the clues ourselves to figure out what's going on.
Continue reading: Before I Go to Sleep Review
Christine Lucas is suffering from a complicated form of amnesia whereby she cannot remember anything about her past, who she is, who her family are and the nature of the terrifying incident which left her that way. More still, each day she wakes up with no recollection of anything, despite having learnt plenty of information about herself before she went to sleep the day before. In a bid to recall all the lost information, she records a video diary day by day and soon learns that not everyone around her can be trusted. Her husband Ben is refusing to tell her certain things about her past, while her doctor, Dr. Nash, appears to have ulterior motives as he helps her to recover. It becomes more and more evident as the day presses on that something shockingly corrupt has occurred - and she's the only person who knows what it is.
'Before I Go To Sleep' is a gripping psychological thriller based on the acclaimed book of the same name by S.J. Watson. Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, it has been both directed and written by Rowan Joffe ('Brighton Rock', '28 Weeks Later', 'The American', 'Last Resort') and is due for cinematic release in the UK on September 5th 2014.
Hawke struts the board for a turn in 'The Scottish Play.'
Jack O'Brien's Macbeth has debuted at Broadway's Vivian Beaumont, giving Hollywood actor Ethan Hawke a chance to show off his lesser-known skill for Shakespearean stage acting as the titular, tormented thane. Critics have largely praised the dark and atmospheric production, yet the sensation that Hawke could have delved deeper into the tortured recesses of his character's psyche seems to be prevalent.
Ethan Hawke Shows His Versatility As An Actor In 'Macbeth' But Fails To Dig Deep.
The NY Times assesses the "dismal" yet "chic" production and concludes that Hawke is lacking. "Though best known as a movie star, Mr. Hawke has demonstrated his stage-worthiness [...] His is a mumblecore Macbeth [...] He delivers Shakespeare's poetry like a moody, glue-sniffing teenager reciting Leonard Cohen lyrics to himself," writes Ben Brantley.
Continue reading: Ethan Hawke's 'Macbeth' Premieres In Bewitching But Flawed Broadway Play
And so, after a decade, Shameless is no more.
Say goodbye to “Shameless” – everyone else has, in one massive final blowout – in other words, a final episode to remember. The series is Channel 4’s longest runner, but this past season hasn’t exactly been its peak year. Having opened with a 1.7 million viewership, the rest of the season averaged just over a million for each episode, clearly hobbling on its last leg.
Shameless hit a ratings peak during its fourth series in early 2007, attracting up to 3.5 million viewers and a near 20% share for the early episodes of that run. However, according to the Guardian, this peak may have had something to do with Shameless following directly after Big Brother for that season. Whatever the case may be, the Channel 4 drama is no longer reeling in the viewers like it used to.
The final episode aired this Tuesday at 10, following the documentary Edward VIII: the Lion King, which averaged 800,000 viewers and a 3.2% share. Nevertheless, the drama had quite an impressive run – not only in terms of ratings, but also critical appeal. The series, chronicling the Gallaghers’ dysfunctional (to say the least) life helped launch the careers of stars like Anne-Marie Duff, James McAvoy and Maxine Peake. And with last night’s episode getting consistently good reviews, it looks like the drama is definitely going out on a high note.
Continue reading: Channel 4 Sees Off "Shameless" In Last Ever Episode
Take That star Jason Orange is making a foray into acting and will appear in the final series of Channel 4's Shameless. The singer, 42, will head to the fictional Chatsworth Estate as DJ Scouse Mouse, who runs a music festival in the neighbourhood frequented by Frank Gallagher and company.
According to the BBC, it is thought Orange filmed the scenes this week, before getting a tour of the set, including The Jockey, the boozer favoured by Frank. In October, it was announced the long-run series was to come to an end after eleven series. The final batch of episodes will also feature the return of Ann-Marie Duff, the actress who rose to fame in the comedy as Fiona Gallagher before going on to become a highly respected theatre and film actress. She is married to the Scottish star James McAvoy. A show insider told the Daily Telegraph that Take That singer Orange was "nervous" before getting in front of the camera, though was a big hit with the rest of the cast. Another show source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "[Jason] had a great time on set and was line perfect for a triumphant TV acting debut."
It's not the first time Jason has played a DJ on television, starring as Brent Moyer in 1998's Killer Net television series.