For a certain mindset, there’s little fun quite like a British prestige thriller; all the ridiculous twists-and-turns of a genre piece, with the highbrow trappings of Downton Abbey. A viewer can enjoy the festivities without guilt, even as these films occasionally step the scenery-chewing up to Royal Shakespearean levels. Judging from the trailer above – presented exclusively by Yahoo Movies – the forthcoming Before I Go to Sleep looks to satisfy both ends of the spectrum. The film stars Nicole Kidman — working from the austere end of her palate — alongside England’s reigning Major Actor, Colin Firth.
Based on the best-selling thriller novel by S.J. Watson, Sleep tells the story of a woman – played by Kidman – who suffers from a condition known as anterograde amnesia after a car accident, causing her to wake up every day with the memory of herself erased. She attempts to reconstruct her identity from the pages of a journal, but comes to doubt the truth of its contents. Colin Firth plays her husband, for whom her mistrust grows as she digs deeper into her past.
Kidman has been on a strong run lately, eschewing fluffy star vehicles with a string of serious genre-bending dramatic roles (Stoker, Fur) that even when the films have been uneven (The Paperboy), have reminded of the sanity in the balance, tightrope intensity she can bring to a part at her best.
The film is directed by writer-director Rowan Joffe, who has been churning out a string of genre-breaking character studies both as a director and a writer including a recent adaptation of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, The American and 28 Weeks Later.
Before I Go to Sleep opens in theaters on October 31.