Two factors made October an unusual month for your favorite blogger/movie geek. First, I was away for a few weeks and second, I've been busy focusing on a few long-postponed goals. Each of those things contributed to the whole month going by without me seeing a single film. Until Saturday night.
How I wish every break from my movie jones could end with seeing a film as well written, acted, and directed as The Good Nurse. I had no prior knowledge of this Netflix powerhouse - my time away and focus on those goals also pushed aside my normal habit of reading about upcoming new releases - so I came upon it as a tabula rosa, which amplified my pleasure. I'd discovered a hidden treasure.
Though the subject matter of The Good Nurse is deeply disturbing, the skilled direction by Tobias Lindholm - a new name for me but one I'll pay attention to in the future - never loses its way. The tension Lindholm builds throughout is intense but never manipulative. The script by Charles Graeber and Krysty Wilson-Cairns - two more names unknown to me until thirty-six hours ago - never loses its way. I wouldn't be surprised to see this director/writing team working together in the future. Actually, I'm looking forward to it.
Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne are both predictably excellent in the main roles and there is not one weak link in the supporting cast. As it ended, my only reservation about the film was a wondering about how true-to-life the script was, given the film was based on actual incidents. But when my wife and I watched an old 60 Minutes segment yesterday (reported by Charles Kroft) - one that included interviews with the actual people who were portrayed in the film - that reservation completely dissipated. Do yourself a favor after you watch The Good Nurse - cue up that 60 Minutes piece. And then wait to see how long it is before your skin begins to crawl.