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Nicole Kidman 'Horrified' By Research Into Psychogenic Amnesia For 'Before I Go To Sleep'


Nicole Kidman Colin Firth Rowan Joffe

'Before I Go To Sleep' explores the darkness of losing one's memory to an accident, a fear that resides deeply in everyone and which Nicole Kidman displayed with remarkable commitment on the chilling movie adaptation with Colin Firth.

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in 'Before I Go To Sleep'
Nicole Kidman impressed Colin Firth with amnesiac performance

In a bid to fully immerse herself in the character of Christine, a 40-year-old woman who wakes up one day believing she is still in her twenties and with no recollection of who her husband is only to find out repeatedly that he has been introducing himself to her every day for several weeks, Nicole Kidman took the time to do some full research into her condition. 'I watched a number of documentaries where people do have this psychogenic amnesia', she explains. 'The idea of actually having this is horrifying.  Someone described it as like losing their soul, because you lose your identity, you lose actually what you are and that's really chilling, and it's also sad.'

Continue reading: Nicole Kidman 'Horrified' By Research Into Psychogenic Amnesia For 'Before I Go To Sleep'

Before I Go To Sleep Review


Good

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

Before I Go to Sleep Trailer


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.

Click here to read Before I Go to Sleep movie review

Brighton Rock Review


Good
Repositioning Graham Greene's 1938 novel to 1964, screenwriter Joffe directs his first feature with a vivid visual flair. Although it's so dark and harsh that none of the characters are even remotely sympathetic.

Pinkie (Riley) is a young member of a Brighton gang that becomes rudderless when its leader is killed by rival mobster Colleoni (Serkis). Second in command Spicer (Davis) tries to take charge, but Pinkie starts escalating things, avenging his boss' death in a way that creates a violent tit-for-tat. He also becomes vulnerable to murder charges. As he romances a young witness (Riseborough) to make sure she doesn't say anything, he angers her boss (Mirren) as well as both Colleoni and his righthand man (Hurt).

Continue reading: Brighton Rock Review

Rowan Joffe - Rowan Joffe and guest Tuesday 1st February 2011 at Odeon West End London, England

Rowan Joffe
Rowan Joffe
Rowan Joffe

The American Review


Very Good
Like its central character, this film is almost painstakingly meticulous in the way it sets up each scene. And while it feels like nothing much is happening, there's a lot going on under the surface, and a real sense of growing suspense.

No one really knows Jack (Clooney). Or maybe his name is Edward. Some call him Butterfly, and he's clearly a ruthlessly efficient man who leaves little to chance. An expert in customised guns and ammunition, he's hiding in an Italian village from some nasty Swedes. There he's making a rifle for Mathilde (Reuten) while befriending a priest (Bonacelli) and starting a tentative relationship with local prostitute Carla (Placido). But he doesn't trust anyone, and starts to worry whether he'll survive this job.

Continue reading: The American Review

Brighton Rock Trailer


Pinkie Brown might be young but his reputation as a fierce and brutal criminal precedes him in many circles. When Pinkie commits a revenge killing, an innocent bystander named Rose sees Pinkie's gang take the victim away. In a ploy to learn how much Rose knows Pinkie attempts to seduce the young girl. Pinkie finds himself falling for Rose but how sure is he that she won't speak to the police and more so, how can Rose trust a murderer who might make her the next victim.

Continue: Brighton Rock Trailer

28 Weeks Later... Review


Very Good
The grisly 28 Weeks Later... jettisons the director, cast, and recurring characters from the original film -- Danny Boyle's 2003 nightmare vision 28 Days Later -- and keeps only the franchise's dynamic plot device: a rage virus that, in seconds, turns unsuspecting citizens into violent zombies. It's an effective way to wipe the slate clean before more blood is splattered across it.

Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo structures his picture less like a conventional sequel and more like a "next chapter" in the horror saga, which might explain why this fresh, energized, and clever installment works better than it should.

Continue reading: 28 Weeks Later... Review

Last Resort Review


Very Good
It's hard to imagine a more horrific modern-day nightmare. A young and wide-eyed Russian lass named Tanya (Dina Korzun) flies to Britain with her young son Artiom (Artiom Strelnikov) on the promise that her British fiancée will pick them up from the airport and whisk them off to a new and happy life together in the West.

When hubby-to-be doesn't show up, Tanya declares herself a refugee to avoid being immediately sent back to Moscow, then finds herself imprisoned in an urban gulag -- actually an abandoned seaside resort with roller coasters and video arcades that's been converted to a refugee camp.

Continue reading: Last Resort Review

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Rowan Joffe Movies

Before I Go to Sleep Movie Review

Before I Go to Sleep Movie Review

A clever premise can't help but grab the audience's attention as this mystery-thriller plays with...

Before I Go to Sleep Trailer

Before I Go to Sleep Trailer

Christine Lucas is suffering from a complicated form of amnesia whereby she cannot remember anything...

Brighton Rock Movie Review

Brighton Rock Movie Review

Repositioning Graham Greene's 1938 novel to 1964, screenwriter Joffe directs his first feature with a...

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The American Movie Review

The American Movie Review

Like its central character, this film is almost painstakingly meticulous in the way it sets...

Brighton Rock Trailer

Brighton Rock Trailer

Pinkie Brown might be young but his reputation as a fierce and brutal criminal precedes...

28 Weeks Later... Movie Review

28 Weeks Later... Movie Review

The grisly 28 Weeks Later... jettisons the director, cast, and recurring characters from the original...

Last Resort Movie Review

Last Resort Movie Review

It's hard to imagine a more horrific modern-day nightmare. A young and wide-eyed Russian...

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