Based on an only-marginally-less-sensational bestseller (by S. J. Watson),Before I Go to Sleep stars Nicole Kidman as a woman who wakes up every morning in a bedroom she’s never seen, next to a man she doesn’t recognize. And every morning that man (played by Colin Firth) explains, with saint-like patience, that he is her husband and that she was in an accident that has left her unable to retain new memories – each night all her recollections are wiped as she sleeps. Such thankless dedication surely warrants our suspicion and, sure enough, up pops psychologist Mark Strong, who reveals he has been treating her behind her husband’s back and that she is keeping a video diary to keep track of recent events. The two stories don’t tally, so whom she should trust? While you assume most movie characters already know their back stories, here Kidman’s character is as in the dark as you, making you hyper-aware of the gaps in your knowledge. It’s something director Rowan Joffé (son of The Mission director Roland) skillfully exploits to sustain the suspense in this amnesiac thriller that, despite the accumulating plot holes and a bit of a flat wrap-up, is as efficient as it is enjoyable.
Also out this week, Red Army is producer-director-writer Gabe Polsky’s acclaimed documentary about the all-conquering Soviet ice hockey team during the Cold War. Analyzing the links between sport and politics, the film focuses on the path of Viacheslav Fetisov, one of the first Russians to play in the NHL and a subsequent sports minister in the Putin government.
A slice of independent sci-fi from cinematographer-turned-director William Eubank, The Signal follows three MIT students led off path during a road trip when they’re contacted by a hacker who has already caused havoc by breaching their college’s computer system. But after tracking the culprit to a remote Nevada house, all suddenly goes black, with one of them waking up to find himself being scrupulously interrogated by scientist Laurence Fishburne in an underground government facility.
Dakota Jhonson and Jamie Dornan in "Fifty Shades Of Grey"