“An infamous caregiver is implicated in the deaths of hundreds of hospital patients.”

Director: Tobias Lindholm
Writers: Charles Graeber, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Staring: Eddie Redmayne, Jessica Chastain, Nnamdi Asomugha, Noah Emmerich
Rated: R
Release Date: October 26, 2022
IMDB

Sometimes it is good to get great actors together with a component director. Throw in a fascinating story based on real life events and persons, and you have yourself the makings of a fine rainy Sunday morning viewing experience.

The Good Nurse (2022) is a crime drama staring Oscar winners Eddie Redmayne and Jessica Chastain. That is enough to get someone in the door. Throw in the wrench that Redmayne plays the part of Charlie Cullen, a emotionally disturbed individual who takes it upon himself to slowly kill his patients by injecting fatal doses of various drugs into IV bags.

Chastain takes on the part of Amy Loughren, a single mother and a compassionate nurse who is not only struggling to get by, but also struggling to survive against her own life threatening heart condition. Loughren at first is relieved to have a another hard-working nurse in Charlie joining her cohorts, but once different puzzle pieces start coming together, a nasty picture begins to take shape.

Danny Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Tim Braun (Noah Emmerich) are two cops assigned to the death of a patient. They know it is strange they are being brought into a hospital for something like this, so antennas are up. Things begin pinging off their raised eyebrows and soon the pair are intrenched in a fight against bureaucracy and lack of evidence. Their secret weapon in looking for answers becomes Amy, and her unique relationship Charlie.

Danny Baldwin (Nnamdi Asomugha) and Tim Braun (Noah Emmerich) talking with Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain)

The Good Nurse is a true example of a well-made, well-executed movie. It brings about memories of The Dig (2021), another Netflix original movie staring a talented cast centered around a fascinating story.

I am admittedly biased in my judgement of miss Jessica Chastain, but all should be able to agree that she was strong in the role of Amy. This is her first serious role since winning her Oscar for The Eyes Of Tammy Faye (2021)…yes, we are skipping The 355 (2022). Unlike the supremely colorful Tammy Faye, the character of Amy in The Good Nurse is anything but magnetic. She goes about her job and does it well. Chastain may not have put any makeup at all on for this role, and it works for her looking like the overworked and overstressed individual she is. Chastain just knows how to bring out something out of nothing here.

Her counterpart in the movie is Eddie Redmayne. Since his Academy Award accreditation for The Theory Of Everything (2014), Redmatne has been fluttering between auteur and blockbuster projects. He is attached to the often dissected character of Newt Scamander, and dare I say there are few strings you could draw together between that awkward wizard and this awkward nurse. However, the smallest leap one needs to make when comparing characters is Charlie Cullen to the one and only, Norman Bates from Psycho (1960).

Both Charlie and Norman are shy and awkward. Both want to make connections and sometimes overreach to keep those new friends close. Nobody would expect their Cullen or Bates to hurt anyone…but really…they are killing machines. I am by no means comparing the two movies, but if there were to be another remake of the non-remakable…Eddie Redmayne would be able to fill into those shoes nicely.

The best little surprise from The Good Nurse is Noah Emmerich in the part of officer Braun. I can’t explain it, but he jumps out of the screen when he is on it. It is a strange feeling because he doesn’t talk loud or do anything crazy when starting the investigation on a newly discovered serial killer, and compared to his partner Baldwin, Braun is a monk. He plays the calm cool but rightfully frustrated cop at the same level that Chastain plays Amy. You don’t need to be the center of attention in the room to solve the problem.

Also a random thought here. I can’t not see Noah Emmerich as Craig Patrick in Miracle (2014). He is the assistant coach going along for the ride.

Director Tobias Lindholm may have jumped at the opportunity to direct The Good Nurse. Of all the projects that Lindholm has done, many have surrounded crime. His most well known work are his two episodes of Mindhunter, and if you can get into the sick mind of David Fincher serial killer storytelling, then you are in a special place to handle something like this. Lindholm does not worry extensively about the look of the movie. He rather wants to evoke a mood of dread and doubt. There are few to no bright colors in The Good Nurse. The color pallet is muted, much like how the horror of Cullen was kept quiet not only by himself, but also by the hospitals that employed him prior to being caught.

The Good Nurse is just good. It is just a damn fine movie that keeps you engaged and lets the actors do their work. Will you want to go shouting from the roof tops that everyone should see The Good Nurse? No, probably not. But if someone asks you for a movie recommendation, The Good Nurse will slip into your mind like a sliver of wood that you need to pull out for immense satisfaction.

STANKO RATING: B+ (4.0/5 Stars)


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