Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne’s “The Caregiving Women”

Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne’s serial killer movie ‘Good Nurse’ examines U.S. health care system

By

J. Hoberman

Dec. 5, 2014 7:05 pm ET

At a Glance

Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne and their leading lady in Good Nurse—the American health care system

The leading lady in Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne’s adaptation of Ken Follett’s best-selling novel set in New York’s Upper East Side lives in an old apartment with four other women, all in their 70s and 80s. Each is, by necessity, either a doctor, nurse or social worker. What keeps them together and intact is their work providing care, from caring for the elderly to tending to the disabled. It is a world of their own making.

The opening scenes show Chastain, 43, and Redmayne, 48, walking along East 69th Street, the street they live on. Redmayne’s character, a former investment banker, walks toward a building on the right, while Chastain’s character, who is a therapist, walks toward a building on the left. They have a plan to meet at the intersection.

The movie is not a traditional love story. Instead, it is the story of the caregiving women in the apartment building.

Mia Carella, a social worker played by Chastain, has fallen in love with a woman, Elizabeth, played by Jessica Chastain’s real-life mother, Patricia, a doctor. Their relationship is complex. Elizabeth (Chastain) says she is lonely and needs a man. In turn, Mia (Chastain) is willing to be a mother to Elizabeth and to a new woman, Jane, played by Redmayne’s character.

The movie opens with Elizabeth (Chastain) and Mia (Chastain) getting food for them. They go to visit Jane (Redmayne), a woman with post-polio syndrome, who is a paraplegic. The relationship between Mia and Elizabeth is complicated too.

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