Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Before I Go To Sleep

(USA, UK, France, Sweden, 2014)

Before I Go to Sleep (2014) (USA, UK, France, Sweden) Well, damn it! This is the second time someone has stolen my idea! I wrote a short story titled Just Another Perfect Day, that involved a man who lost all his memories every time he went to sleep. He started from scratch each morning. Then a few years later there came what may be Adam Sandler’s only good movie: 50 First Dates. Drew Barrymore had brain damage that resulted in her waking every morning with no memory of the last several years. Now we get this. Nicole Kidman was brutally beaten fourteen years ago. Each day she wakes up next to a stranger, who shows her pictures proving they were married years ago. The house is covered with post-it notes telling her things she needs to know. So, like I said, damn it! I’d really like to file a complaint, maybe a lawsuit, get tons of money, but there’s one problem. Both the writer of the Sandler movie, George Wing, and the writers of this one, S.J. Watson and Rowan Joffe, have better stories than the one I wrote. I hate to admit it, but there it is. Okay, moving on …

When her husband (Colin Firth) leaves for work she gets a call from a doctor (Mark Strong) who says he has been treating her. He doesn’t want her to tell her husband about it, and guides her to a hidden camera where she has been keeping a video diary to keep her up to date on some things.

And I can’t go much further than that. It unfolds well, in the manner of another lost memory film, Memento, with us and her learning new stuff in a confusing and sometimes contradictory manner. It becomes clear pretty soon that one of these men is fucking with her head. But which one? And why? Myself, I picked the bad guy correctly, but I had no idea why he was doing this to her. I thought the answer was plausible, and surprising. I didn’t see it coming. It’s not a great film, but it’s worth seeing.