Being the daughter of a Registered Nurse, I couldn’t even begin to fathom if my Mom had befriended a fellow colleague who turned out to be a serial killer. Yet, this is exactly what happened to Amy Loughren. Loughren, whose trusted colleague Charlie Cullen turned out not to be an Angel of Mercy – but an unexpected Angel of Death. Cullen eventually pleaded guilty to committing 29 murders during a 16-year nursing career that spanned 10 hospitals and nursing homes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas.
Tobias Lindholm not only expertly directed Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne into perfection within this true-crime tale, but discovered at way to illustrate the unique friendship between Amy and Charlie letting her empathy burst through the plot. The manner in which Lindholm sets up the beginning of the film with chaos swirling about a near frozen Charlie as he quietly observes his latest victim slipping away tells you all you need to know.
Having said that, Eddie Redmayne as Charlie is absolutely terrifying in this role. From his stoic persona to his quirky physicality, this actor illustrates once again why he is one of the major leading men in Hollywood. There is one particular scene in which he is dropping off Amy at her home, shortly after she realizes that was desperately close to being his next victim. His look alone will send chills down your spine.
Jessica Chastain reaches into her arsenal of characterization strengths and brings them all flourishing to the table portraying Amy. Chastain, who is no stranger to portraying true-to-life women (taking home the Oscar for playing infamous tele-evangelist Tammy Faye) brings a warmth, sense of humor and Murder She Wrote sensibility to Amy. She gives the audience permission, through the eyes and persona of Amy to be frightened, yet fell empathy for Charlie simultaneously.
Based on the book by Charles Graeber and riveting screenplay by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, The Good Nurse (now streaming via Netflix) will have you on the edge of your seat and make you think twice the next time you see an I.V. bag coming your way