Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
United Kingdom/France/Sweden, 2014. Scott Free Productions, Millennium Films, Film i Vast, Filmgate Films, StudioCanal. Screenplay by Rowan Joffe, based on the novel by S.J. Watson. Cinematography by Ben Davis. Produced by Mark Gill, Avi Lerner, Liza Marshall, Matthew O’Toole. Music by Ed Shearmur. Production Design by Kave Quinn. Costume Design by Michele Clapton. Film Editing by Melanie Oliver.
Nicole Kidman wakes up beside Colin Firth and has no idea where she is. He explains to her that, thanks to an accident years earlier, she has brain damage that causes her to wake up every morning with a clean mental slate, which we know from Memento means that solving mysteries requires organizational skills and from 50 First Dates means that it could get you stuck with Adam Sandler for life. Kidman receives a phone call from a doctor (Mark Strong) who informs her that she has a video diary hidden on a camera in her wardrobe and that she needs to see what she has been recording for two weeks, to help her figure out exactly how she got into this situation. The accident turns out to actually have been a brutal crime, and as she puts together clues that then inspire grisly fragmented memories, going to various locations and meeting people from her past, she begins to realize that neither of the men closest to her are without their own secrets, leaving her vulnerable as to whom she can trust. A fun premise with an engaging plot is buoyed by a much better cast than this smarmy thriller deserves, especially as it has more than its fair share of red herrings and a dissatisfying conclusion that throws unnecessary melodrama into what was a cheap genre indulgence without it being in the least bit earned. It’s great to see Kidman on top of her game, but Firth’s desire to do anything other than posh English lover looks desperately silly here, and his performance is hammy.