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Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Girl Has Problems

I meet L in Derby after the match. The Rams have played out a lifeless 0-0 draw against an obdurate Millwall. L has a race tomorrow, so as a gentle pre-race night we are having an evening at Quad watching Nicole. In ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ that is. Unfortunately they have Tuck on in the Silk Mill which makes it less gentle than it might have been, and then afterwards we head to the Flowerpot for a few more. First though, the film.

Christine Lucas (Nicole Kidman) not only wakes up every day with no memory of the events of the previous day but she also wakes up alongside Colin Firth. Yes the girl has problems. Just when she’d thought she’s got over the Railway Man, here he is again.

Every morning she looks across at Firth, looks confused and maybe a bit pissed off before heading off to the bathroom where she is confronted with a wall of photographs. These are of herself and of herself with Ben (Firth) including several of their wedding.

Back in the bedroom, Ben confirms the whole horrible truth. Yes, she is married to Firth, again, and what’s worse is she can’t even remember doing it.

Well actually it’s worse than that, she has no recollection of the last twenty years. Which might appeal to some people but does seem a bit inconvenient.

Ben goes on to explain that she’d had an accident and can now no longer retain memories, then he buggers off to work and her doctor (Mark Strong) rings her. He tells her that she has been recording herself on a video camera to help remember things. Each day she’ll start to piece things together until it's time for bed again... and they’ll all be gone again.

Problem is he has to tell her where she’s hidden it. This incident, hiding the camera from her husband, sort of gives the plot twist away in the first ten minutes and undermines what is to come.

Her doctor gradually helps her unravel the mental mist and she also meets up with an old college friend Claire (Anne-Marie Duff) who disappeared from her life under somewhat dubious circumstances as the films builds to a somewhat grisly finale.

It's an odd but quite good film with a lot of ‘hang on but...’ moments. The overall premise is intriguing but ultimately once you’ve grasped that the film on the whole disappoints and peters out at the end. Kidman is again excellent though, Strong is good and Firth is, well, Firth. Probably a bit out of his comfort zone to be honest but he copes well enough.

(Saturday 4th October)

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