Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain star as a pair of nurses in The Good Nurse, a new thriller that is now streaming on Netflix.
The film premiered last month in Toronto before having a brief theatrical release in October. I had a chance to check out the film ahead of its theatrical release. Because of timing, I’m just now having a chance to jot down my thoughts and get them online. In short, The Good Nurse is a film worth watching especially for performances from stars Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain. I’ve seen Redmayne turn in some award-worthy performances but there’s something about his work here. He disappears into the role and you buy into seeing him as an empathetic nurse but there’s this whole other side of him.
Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain) may have a heart condition threatening her life but it doesn’t stop the single mom from working as a compassionate nurse in the ICU. It probably isn’t the best idea especially with the toll that it takes for someone working nights. Things start changing when another nurse, Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne), joins her on the job. There’s something that Amy sees in Charlie as they build up a new friendship that gives her hope for the future. However, there’s something just below the surface as Charlie is the main suspect in the hospital’s investigation of patients suddenly dying. Amy risks everything as she helps the police get to the bottom of it.
Tobias Lindholm marks his English language directorial debut with the thriller. Krysty Wilson-Cairns adapts the script from Charles Graeber’s book of the same name. That this is based on true events makes me wonder what really goes down at hospitals. That patients are suddenly dying with medication in their system that they shouldn’t have is just sickening. What I like about this film is that it doesn’t so much focus on the bad person in that it focuses on Amy, who only wants to do good. I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again: we need to stop glorifying the actions of serial killers and such on the screen. How many movies and series do we need on Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy? What about their victims and their families?
One leaves this film asking themselves questions. What is it that makes a nurse act in this way? I’m not referring to Amy but Charlie. Why do people choose to become evil? This is something that we study time and time again-when we forget our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Charlie might not be on the same level as ruthless tyrants in history but there’s still an evilness about his actions. I’m purposely leaving some things out of my review so that you can watch the film and see for yourselves. If there’s a lesson from the film, it’s that we should all be compassionate in our actions with other people.
DIRECTOR: Tobias Lindholm
SCREENWRITER: Krysty Wilson-Cairns
CAST: Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Chastain, Nnamdi Asomugha, Kim Dickens, Malik Yoba, Alix West Lefler, and Noah Emmerich
Netflix released The Good Nurse in theaters on October 19 and streaming on October 26, 2022. Grade: 3.5/5
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