The Good Nurse (2022)
The slow, lingering eventual close-up on Eddie Redmayne's Charlie, in what can best be described as an 'unfortunate event' is accusatory from the outset. It may be that the alarming string score is doing most of the heavy lifting here, but this much is cloyingly unavoidable. On edge already and the film is not more than a few minutes old.
From Netflix, this grisly gift in time for Halloween is based on one of those true stories you'd probably never heard of. True-crime dramas are really ten-a-penny, however, and this needed strong lead performances, which thankfully isn't an issue here. Both Redmayne and particularly Chastain look like they've worked in an ICU before and appear as authentic as required, coming from a completely non-medical onlooker.
Amy (Chastain) is a hard-working (aren't they all?) nurse in the ICU, a single mother of two young daughters and a heart condition that requires a transplant, at least, once she has been at work long enough to qualify for the insurance. It makes going to work everyday even more sobering than it already is.
Then along came Charlie. Transferred from elsewhere for some unapproached, unreachable reason, to give Amy a much needed extra pair of hands. He learns of her illness and befriends her daughters, supporting her any which way he can. After a mysterious death at the hospital, there was an investigation, in which Charlie's name is brought up. After another death, you can see Amy's brain ticking into overtime about this new alleged angel in her midst.
As I said, the acting performances are on point and the pacing, so crucial here, is also very efficient. Not so bizarre that you couldn't make it up, but highly unsavoury nonetheless. Redmayne's Charlie is never the wild-eyed lunatic and if anything his lack of emotion and Amy's probably excessive amount make this even more intriguing.
Engaging throughout, this never fails to impress, but neither does it ever really soar, as such. Still, worth a watch, no doubt, particularly in light of more recent, local events.