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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review: The Good Nurse

Amy, a compassionate nurse and single mother struggling with a life-threatening heart condition, is stretched to her physical and emotional limits by the hard and demanding night shifts at the ICU. But help arrives when Charlie, a thoughtful and empathetic fellow nurse, starts at her unit. While sharing long nights at the hospital, the two develop a strong and devoted friendship, and for the first time in years, Amy truly has faith in her and her young daughters' future. But after a series of mysterious patient deaths sets off an investigation that points to Charlie as the prime suspect, Amy is forced to risk her life and the safety of her children to uncover the truth.


Jessica Chastain & Eddie Redmayne


The Good Nurse is a thrilling, powerful & emotional punch of an english debut film from Tobias Lindholm, led by outstanding performances from Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne.


As engaging as the biopic is, it’s hard not to compare murder mysteries that have come before it. Prisoners, Zodiac & No Country for Old Men all share the trait of being visual storytelling thrillers, that you admire in all technical aspects. Their ability to keep an audience on edge without much happening in the frame is a testament to how strong those directors are. That can be found here, but only in very few moments, certainly in the third act. While not poorly directed, it can for some, only be viewed as a drama rather than a thriller. Tobias allows these actors to perform & understands the importance of an actors performance to drive a film, something that is clear within his previous work.


I often felt that certain scenes overstayed their welcome, wishing that they had been wrote a rather different way to achieve the same goal, to keep us on edge. While Chastain & Redmayne do what they can with the script, I couldn’t help but feel as though the writer wasn’t giving them too much. Which, of course, impresses me more that both lead’s performed so brilliantly with what they were given.


It isn’t all grey. There is a clear vision that I do believe was fully realised with no interference, Tobias clearly went through the drama route, which I appreciate yet silently wish it was something more. For a film reaching 2 hours, I never found myself in a position where it felt prolonged or dull. Whether this is due to the performances, or the script, or the directing, it is something important I admire in a film such as this. The score is subtle, creeping in when you least expect it, adding more intensity to certain sequences that involve Cullen. Complimented wonderfully by the sound design, which took me by surprise with how relaxing it sounded. A possible intention to lower my guard for when the thrill hit, I would like to think so.


Nonetheless, despite a flawed attempt, The Good Nurse met my expectations and informed me well on a monster I had never heard of before & the strong woman who took him down. With good character drama & a hypnotic sound design, I find this to be one of the best biopics of the year.


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