‘The Good Nurse’: Is Eddie Redmayne Oscar-bound for villainous turn?

Get ready to see Eddie Redmayne as you’ve never seen him before. The Best Supporting Actor Oscar contender is stripping his good boy image as he scrubs into his villainous side in the new Netflix thriller “The Good Nurse.” He teams up with Jessica Chastain in the Tobias Lindholm-directed, Krysty Wilson-Cairns-penned film about a real-life serial killer, based on the 2013 book of the same name by Charles Graeber. Watch “The Good Nurse” trailer above.

Redmayne won the Best Actor Oscar for playing physicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” (2014), while Chastain is the reigning Best Actress Oscar champ for her role as evangelist Tammy Faye in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (2021). Now both A-listers are in the hunt for repeat Oscar glory, with Redmayne in particular being singled out for his against-type performance of Nurse Charles Cullen, who may be involved in several patients’ deaths. Chastain portrays the heroic Nurse Amy Loughren who tries to bring Redmayne’s character to justice.

“The Good Nurse” enjoyed great word of mouth during its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11. And on September 25, Redmayne was presented with the Golden Eye Award during the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland (see photo below).

Deadline’s Pete Hammond called the Netflix entry “one of the best films of 2022” and raved that the actor is “simply astonishing bringing an eerie vocal tone and specific physicality to the role that will give you chills.” Next Best Picture’s Matt Neglia wrote of Redmayne, “His unsettling performance is one of his most magnetic and convincing, especially in the third act.” And Awards Watch’s Mina Takla declared, “The film truly belongs to Redmayne who delivers one of his best performances,” giving special mention to his “posture, eyes, voice and body language.”

One of the stand-out creepy moments from the trailer is when Redmayne calmly asks Chastain to “come, sit” next to him, while her daughter is in the room. Her terrified reaction prompts her daughter to ask, “Why are you being weird, Mom?” In lesser hands, the tension between the two characters would be lost, but Redmayne and Chastain are pros who bring their experience as actors to every single moment. Hmm, is anyone else getting Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins vibes from their Oscar-winning roles as FBI Agent Clarice Starling and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter?

To date, only one Netflix film has won an acting award: Laura Dern in Best Supporting Actress for “Marriage Story” (2019). Might “The Good Nurse” add to that number for Redmayne and/or Chastain? The film is scheduled to be released in select theaters in the United States on October 19, before its begins streaming on Netflix on October 26.

Eddie Redmayne Zurich Film Festival
Photo: Actor Eddie Redmayne is presented with the Golden Eye Award during the Zurich Film Festival’s premiere of Netflix’s “The Good Nurse” held at Kongresshaus on September 25, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland.

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