Preview courtesy of Eclipse Pictures and Arrow Films
Rebecca, a world class War Photographer, finds that the risk that comes with her job creates tension between herself and her family.
A Thousand Times Goodnight was shot mostly where it set. The action movies from a striking opening section in Kabul to a slower pace in the Irish home of the Rebecca’s family. We see the effects of her stress filled job spill over the lives of her husband and two children. Norwegian Director Erik Poppe and ex- war photographer himself does seem more at home with the scenes of armed conflict than he is with domestic engagements.
Juilette Binoche gives an inwardly emotional performance as she copes with her own hangover from the warzone and slowly realises that it is tearing her family apart. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau delivers an equally subdued performance as her long suffering-in-silence- until now husband Marcus. Amber’s Lauryn Canny plays the older of the two children. She gives a fine performance. We believe that her mother’s job is having a profound effect on her life. The tense relationships between the characters were realistic to a point. In particular the Binoche and Canny’s Mother-daughter relationship felt authentic.
But the film is not without its faults. The slower domestic aspect of the plot was always going to be difficult to balance the erratic warzone scenes but it was hampered further by an uncomfortable combination of flat dialogue and uneven acting in quite a few places. Even the casting of two obviously Irish children did not seem plausible to me as their parents are Norwegian and French. Perhaps I am being a little harsh because as the story unfolded I was swept up and did enjoy the rest of the film.
Maria Doyle Kennedy and Larry Mullen Jnr. provide an understated support to the two main cast leads.
Despite the bumps I encountered while watching this I still came away moved and also I felt I learned had learned what motivates someone to be a war photographer and the impact it has on their family while being disappointed that the domestic portion did not get as much professional attention as the emotionally charged conflict scenes.
A Thousand Times Good Night opens in Ireland on May 16th