Now Is Good – Film Review from Manchester Regional Premiere

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On Wednesday 14th September, Warner Bros. latest offering ‘Now Is Good’, starring Dakota Fanning (Twilight) and Jeremy Irvine (Warhorse), premiered in Manchester at The Printworks’ very own Odeon – and we were lucky enough to have tickets.As the crowds began to build, local celebrities hit the red carpet including the Hollyoaks Cast, Chelcee Grimes, Fran Halsall (GB Olympic swimmer), Mr Zip (Britain’s Got Talent) and Boohoo fashion chain owners Umar and Adam Kamani.

Although the lovely Jeremy Irvine was unable to attend the event, fans were delighted to have the opportunity to meet and greet the very talented Dakota Fanning and the films’ director and writer Ol Parker, who both sat amongst fans to watch the film as it was Dakota’s first viewing of the finished cut and later partook in an audience led interview after the show.

‘Now is Good’ is a British film based on the novel ‘Before I Die’ by Jenny Downham and follows the story of seventeen year old Tessa (Dakota Fanning) who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Strong willed, defiant and passionate about life, Tessa is determined to use every moment she has left to do the things she wants to do by compiling a bucket list (including losing her virginity, stealing and taking drugs) which she works her way through with the help of her rebellious and free-spirited best friend, Zoey (Kaya Scodelario – Skins).

As Tessa’s illness worsens, her parents struggle to come to terms with their fear and grief, particularly her over protective father played by Paddy Considine. Considine arguably gives the strongest performance of the film as he portrays a father in emotional turmoil – battling to let his daughter live a full and free life, whilst also wanting Tessa to stay by his side. Tessa’s mother (Olivia Williams), on the other hand is side-lined from the family as she avoids coming to terms with and accepting Tessa’s illness. Sadly estranged, but eventually re-connected with her daughter, Williams comes into her own as her character confronts her fears and the reality of what is happening to her daughter.

As her family push for normality and structure, Tessa increasingly strives to rebel, leading to the theft of her Dad’s car (she can’t drive), getting caught shop lifting and attempting sex with men she meets in clubs. Ultimately, the biggest risk for Tessa is falling in love with her rather hunky new neighbour Adam (Jeremy Irvine), which most certainly wasn’t on the list.

Far from being depressing, or your average teen-flick romance, ‘Now is Good’ is surprisingly uplifting and leaves you with an urgency to live life for the moment. It also has guts, and approaches its challenging subject matter with honesty and on occasion, abruptness. Never too overwhelming but sometimes slightly ‘syrupy’, the storyline manages to be authentic without being too heavy.

Although not quite a ‘date night’ movie, this film has something for everyone – just be sure to take your tissues.

Now Is Good is released in cinemas nationwide on Wednesday 19th September.

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