After three different attempts to try and see A Thousand Times Good Night, I was finally able to get a ticket to the final sold out showing at the Heartland Film Festival, and it was well worth the wait.
What really takes A Thousand Times Good Night from being just an average film to a great film is the stellar performance by Binoche, who brings to life a woman who is a person of conscience and is being divided between her family, and knows that her work makes a difference, but also a woman who is angered and horrified by the awful things she has seen. You can even see this sense of sorrow just by her smile, showing someone who can’t forget the horrors she has seen. Its amazing to see Binoche convey all of these emotions just in one performance.
The rest of the cast also gives powerful performances, especially Lauryn Canny as Rebecca’s daughter, Steph, who has to go through figuring out how important her mother’s job is. Coster-Waldau does a respectable job as the husband who can’t take any more of his wife’s profession, but his character just isn’t given enough motivation on screen for us to really understand how he is feeling. This caused me to question his motivations at times.
The cinematography of the film is stellar, using the gorgeous Irish landscape for the majority of the film and creating some truly beautiful shots. But some of the best shots come from the gritty points of the movie where we see Rebecca in the thick of her work in a war zone. There are a few shots that are transitions that didn’t quite make sense to me, but they do add to the mental state that Rebecca is going through.
All in all, A Thousand Times Goodnight is a gripping and thought-provoking film and raises the question that if your work is important to the world, should you continue with that work even if your family won’t be there when you return. This is mainly accomplished by Juliette Binoche’s stellar performance that gives the film heart and will fully invest the viewer. Although it suffers from sometimes questionable motivations and an abrupt ending, A Thousand Times Goodnight is still a fantastic film that is worth the watch.