A review of the new film “The Good Nurse”

This Netflix film is not an easy watch because it is so dark, both literally (so many scenes are in shadow) and narratively (it concerns the deliberate killing of hospital patients by a nurse). The two American characters in the centre of this true life drama are played by Eddie Redmayne as the good nurse Charlie Cullen and Jessica Chastain as fellow nurse Amy, both of whom give fine performances with Chastain in particular demonstrating a palette of emotions.

At the end, we are told that Charlie Cullen was convicted of 29 murders but is thought to have been responsible for around 400. On a smaller scale, it reminds me of a British case currently at trial of the nurse Lucy Letby who is accused of murdering babies in her care.

“The Good Nurse” raises difficult questions. Are some people evil or should we reserve the word for acts rather than persons? Cullen was really kind to his fellow nurse Amy and her children. Should we blame the perpetrator of the crime or the institutions for which they worked? A succession of hospitals that employed Cullen covered up their concerns to protect their legal liability and public reputation.


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