New To Blu: Before I Go To Sleep

Nicole Kidman stars in Before I Go To Sleep, new to blu today.

"Did you just say I might
be relevant again? Please god, make
it so!!!"
Sometimes actors are given a minor reprieve that forgives them of their previous theatrical sins and it allows them to return to the days when they were respected artists.

A stripped down Nicole Kidman returns to the genre that kick started her career. Much like her quaint beginnings in Dead Calm, Before I Go To Sleep allows Kidman to finally become a good actress again. She leaves behind the last few years of horrible choices to star in a mysterious film that maintains a modern feel while sleekly hinting at darkened shades of Hitchcock. 

Before I Go To Sleep didn't set the box office afire but gives Kidman an opportunity to break her string of fruitless duds with a straightforward performance worthy of her early years. After her trashy character in The Paperboy and the tainted, god awful Grace of Monaco, she's given a chance to hit the reset button with a story that's steadfast in its respect for its influences and is strangely esoteric in all the right ways. It may not be fast enough for today's attention deprived crowd, but this is meant to be a slow burn that takes us back to the days when mysteries weren't quickly unraveled and noir tone was nearly as important as character development. 

"Don't be so cold.
It's not like kissing Tom Cruise."
This is a lower budget feature that humbles Kidman while she plays off an extremely talented supporting cast that features the snide talents of Colin Firth and the always changing Mark Strong. As a dramatic film, Before I Go To Sleep suits all their skills with a mind bending story that headily borrows elements from numerous other identity crisis films in the same basic genre. As usual, Firth strings together moments of dramatic elegance with his every man looks and Strong continues to push the envelope in his ever revolving door of impressive and creepy achievements. But, the standout here is Nicole Kidman. She finally takes a chance by going au natural for seventy five percent of the movie, with little to no makeup, and offers up a performance that is on par with anything from her early years as an actress. 

As a huge fan of Hitchcock, films about identity, and the relationship thrillers of the '90s, Before I Go To Sleep hits on numerous consistent themes that struck a chord with me. It doesn't move too fast but slithers through the corridors of memory loss with qualities that pay homage to its influences while telling a unique and sometimes confused story. Kidman, Strong, and the always excellent Firth work together to make this one of the better, darker edged movies to hit theaters in the past couple years. Check it out on blu-ray today.