Colin Firth Returns to Form with Taut Thriller 'Before I Go To Sleep'
Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman form a formidable team in 'Before I Go To Sleep', which hits cinemas in the UK this weekend.
It is often said that a good actor is only as the direction that he or she are receiving, or the material from which they're reading. Colin Firth is certainly an impressive actor, though his finest performances - The King's Speech, A Single Man - read great on the page and both Tom Hooper and Tom Ford turned in excellent directorial efforts.
The same can be said of Brighton Rock's Rowan Joffe, who directs an adaptation of S.J Watson's best-selling novel Before I Go To Sleep. It's the story of a woman (Nicole Kidman) who wakes up every day with no memory, as a result of a traumatic accident she suffered in her past. Terrifying truths begin to emerge to make her question everything she thinks she knows about herself, including her doctor (Mark Strong) and even her husband (Firth).
The movie has received almost zero marketing ahead of its UK release this weekend, though, fortunately, it has the critics onside.
"As a thriller this is perfectly effective, but while director Rowan Joffe keeps the twists coming, something about Kidman's blank, frosty performance is unconvincing," said Cath Clarke of Time Out.
"A rousing, blood and thunder mystery that works even better if you have yet to read the book," said Allan Hunter of Daily Express.
"Before I Go To Sleep is chiefly a grand manipulation with just about enough clever twists to keep you, if not on the edge of your seat, at least happily alert, guessing along with the plot," said Siobhan Synnot of Scotsman.
"Strong performances keep the viewer guessing as much as our heroine, but the character drama recedes as the thriller element builds, to its detriment," Helen O'Hara of Empire magazine.
Our very own Rich Cline wrote, "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".
'Before I Go To Sleep' is out in UK cinemas from today (September 5, 2014).
Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in 'Before I Go To Sleep'