Now Is Good (12A)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Sep 18 2012

Forgetting to bring tissues to this weepie is the definition of schoolgirl error. Schoolgirls, you see, will be hauling industrial crates of Kleenex into cinemas. They’ll be blubbing gleefully as Dakota Fanning, starring as Tessa, a 17-year-old Brighton girl dying prettily of leukaemia, stares into the eyes of her hot neighbour (Jeremy Irvine). Yes, it’s as mawkishly manipulative as all that. Yes, I was reaching for the sleeve of my cardie.

The film is based on a teen novel by Jenny Downham, and director Ol Parker has administered a sugar-coated pill to it. He wrote ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and this is likewise hellbent on inspiring a rush of wind-beneath-my-wings, life-affirming feeling. But it’s decently acted. Fanning does an impeccable English accent as Tessa, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at 13. Four years later she’s refused treatment that may prolong her life – with nasty side effects. Instead, she’s ploughing through a bucket list of must-dos: losing her virginity, taking drugs. It’s a subtle turn from Fanning. Essentially a good girl, Tessa is wise to the ways she can use her illness as a weapon against her parents: seriously, what’s the worst you can do to punish me? And the film’s mostly watchable until she starts a cloying relationship with the boy next door (Irvine).

Still, if you’re the wet sort who can’t help but sob, go prepared. I was holding up until Paddy Considine – he could read the shipping forecast with a sad face and have me in tears – made an appearance as Tessa’s dad.

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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Sep 21, 2012

Duration:

103 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Ol Parker

Screenwriter:

Ol Parker

Cast:

Dakota Fanning, Kaya Scodelario, Olivia Williams, Paddy Considine

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
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LiveReviews|9
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Sam Cullan

I must say the tag-line doesn’t come close to doing this film justice. There is so much more to it – a thoughtful, uplifting story about a difficult subject. This is without doubt the best film about dying I've ever seen. If you're a softy then it's a two-tissue-box weepy but in no way is this film ever depressing. It's a little sugary at times but on the whole a nice balance is struck between dealing with the sadness of death and the joy of life. The writing and direction are spot-on, and the performances are without exception faultless. It's heartening without being sentimental, funny without being glib. I should reveal I am Fanning's number one fan and also at times her harshest critic. I have a love-hate relationship with her, having watched her develop from the most amazing child actor of all time into what can appear at times a rather lack-lustre adult performer with a dubious choice of off-set professional partnerships. However my opinion of late has changed and I've come to the conclusion Dakota is simply and pleasantly naive in many ways - and I mean that in the nicest possible way; she has a certain innocent charm that most young people today seem to be devoid of, and I mention it only because this role seemed tailor-made for her, and perhaps because I understand her better as an actor and as a person now. OK so the English accent was not perfect - it fluctuated a little and sounded much better when she was being loud and emotional; a little too 1950s prim-and-proper at other times. Kids in England tend not to speak like that now, but to her credit there was never the slightest hint of the native Georgian-cum-West Coast burr. I'd also take issue with the hair stylist that issued what was presumably a wig, the first of the two styles in the movie looked quite dreadful and unrealistic. Later on we see her with medium-length hair which actually looked natural and quite suits her slightly boyish features. The art of Fanning is however in the subtlety of her performances these days - possibly an antidote to the oft-maligned enthusiasm of her early career, or maybe just a result of thoughtful maturity and trying harder to look natural. For me it didn't quite work in The Runaways (although that still remains my favourite Dakota film) but it fits perfectly the role of Tessa Scott. If you take the time to watch this film alone and study Tessa closely, you will hopefully appreciate the performance as I do. As a fan I could happily waffle on all day about Dakota, but I have to say there wasn't a duff performance in this movie. All the actors played perfectly, especially Paddy Considine who gives the under-stated performance of his life. He also gets some of the best lines, maybe not enough of them, but I have to say he was an inspired choice for Tessa's dad and I have a new respect for him as an actor. Irvine, Williams, little Edgar Canham, delicious Kaya Scodelario, Dr Wadham - they all deserve the accolades. This is British story-telling at its best, a knack we've lost in recent years as American and European films have shone in that department. Don't be put off by the subject matter - this is a film that might just change your view of life and death. As Tessa says, "Life is a series of moments". Think about what that means for all of us and enjoy this film.

Sam Cullan

I must say the tag-line doesn’t come close to doing this film justice. There is so much more to it – a thoughtful, uplifting story about a difficult subject. This is without doubt the best film about dying I've ever seen. If you're a softy then it's a two-tissue-box weepy but in no way is this film ever depressing. It's a little sugary at times but on the whole a nice balance is struck between dealing with the sadness of death and the joy of life. The writing and direction are spot-on, and the performances are without exception faultless. It's heartening without being sentimental, funny without being glib. I should reveal I am Fanning's number one fan and also at times her harshest critic. I have a love-hate relationship with her, having watched her develop from the most amazing child actor of all time into what can appear at times a rather lack-lustre adult performer with a dubious choice of off-set professional partnerships. However my opinion of late has changed and I've come to the conclusion Dakota is simply and pleasantly naive in many ways - and I mean that in the nicest possible way; she has a certain innocent charm that most young people today seem to be devoid of, and I mention it only because this role seemed tailor-made for her, and perhaps because I understand her better as an actor and as a person now. OK so the English accent was not perfect - it fluctuated a little and sounded much better when she was being loud and emotional; a little too 1950s prim-and-proper at other times. Kids in England tend not to speak like that now, but to her credit there was never the slightest hint of the native Georgian-cum-West Coast burr. I'd also take issue with the hair stylist that issued what was presumably a wig, the first of the two styles in the movie looked quite dreadful and unrealistic. Later on we see her with medium-length hair which actually looked natural and quite suits her slightly boyish features. The art of Fanning is however in the subtlety of her performances these days - possibly an antidote to the oft-maligned enthusiasm of her early career, or maybe just a result of thoughtful maturity and trying harder to look natural. For me it didn't quite work in The Runaways (although that still remains my favourite Dakota film) but it fits perfectly the role of Tessa Scott. If you take the time to watch this film alone and study Tessa closely, you will hopefully appreciate the performance as I do. As a fan I could happily waffle on all day about Dakota, but I have to say there wasn't a duff performance in this movie. All the actors played perfectly, especially Paddy Considine who gives the under-stated performance of his life. He also gets some of the best lines, maybe not enough of them, but I have to say he was an inspired choice for Tessa's dad and I have a new respect for him as an actor. Irvine, Williams, little Edgar Canham, delicious Kaya Scodelario, Dr Wadham - they all deserve the accolades. This is British story-telling at its best, a knack we've lost in recent years as American and European films have shone in that department. Don't be put off by the subject matter - this is a film that might just change your view of life and death. As Tessa says, "Life is a series of moments". Think about what that means for all of us and enjoy this film.

brandi

Excellent film..loved how the character appreciated all of life's beauty. It made me cry ..loved the acting and emotion portrayed by the characters.

brandi

Excellent film..loved how the character appreciated all of life's beauty. It made me cry ..loved the acting and emotion portrayed by the characters.

tony rock

I must admit I wasn't looking forward to watching this film, as it was being shown after the results of a film competition that my son had entered. I had gone along to support him and I really wasn't that fussed about watching this film afterwards. I must admit that I'm glad that I did, because I enjoyed it immensely- the review that I read above is not the film that I saw. Although about a young girl with terminal cancer, I have MS and I could relate to many of the situations and incidents that were depicted in the story. As a result, I felt that it dealt with many issues relating to serious illness and disability in a surprisingly positive, even uplifting, way and avoided the trap of mawkish sentimentalisam that it could have fallen into. It was not in any way "a teen weepie". After the film was shown, the director Ol Parker did a question and answer session that was interesting and insightful.

tony rock

I must admit I wasn't looking forward to watching this film, as it was being shown after the results of a film competition that my son had entered. I had gone along to support him and I really wasn't that fussed about watching this film afterwards. I must admit that I'm glad that I did, because I enjoyed it immensely- the review that I read above is not the film that I saw. Although about a young girl with terminal cancer, I have MS and I could relate to many of the situations and incidents that were depicted in the story. As a result, I felt that it dealt with many issues relating to serious illness and disability in a surprisingly positive, even uplifting, way and avoided the trap of mawkish sentimentalisam that it could have fallen into. It was not in any way "a teen weepie". After the film was shown, the director Ol Parker did a question and answer session that was interesting and insightful.

Tomas

What a load of rubbish this review. The film was really good. It had it's funny moments, but it was very sad in general. Dakota is puts down an amazing performance as Tessa Scott. A must see movie!

Tomas

What a load of rubbish this review. The film was really good. It had it's funny moments, but it was very sad in general. Dakota is puts down an amazing performance as Tessa Scott. A must see movie!

Ian

Wow the reviewer must have gotten out of the wrong side of their bed the morning they went to watch this film. This is a much better film than the review makes you believe. If it was a song it would be Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The film grabs you by the throat, rips your heart out and then stamps on it because life is sometimes like that. Fanning emerges as a young actress of rare talent and Irvine supports her well, The balance of the cast, Considine in particular, is superb. Probably the best "youth" film of the year yet sadly most of them will go and watch whatever rubbish Hollywood thinks they should be seeing instead..