Now Is Good

Now Is Good


Films about terminal illness are tricky and it doesn’t help when you don’t warm to the central character. Such is the case with Now Is Good, a film about a 17 year old with leukaemia and requisite bucket list.

Dakota Fanning stars as Tessa and, thanks to an amazing performance from Paddy Considine as her devastated father, is surrounded by actors who seem to make up for her rather distancing effort.

Even the requisite hunk Jeremy Irvine (who helps Tessa check a few of the more personal list entries along with some less edgy “making snow angels” and “riding a motorbike as the sun sets” boxes) seems to be able to paper over some of the more hackneyed plot points in the third act.

There is no doubt this is melodrama 101 and, thankfully, the talented cast do well to underplay for effect. Fanning and Irvine, in particular, underplay the doomed romance to the point where regular intermissions of stark reality seem to jolt one out of the whimsy.

There are a couple of missteps too, with a weirdly misjudged “circle of life” plotline, which is slightly offensive.

While Tessa’s frosty demeanour can be attributed to the circumstances, the character feels so remote that it’s hard to access her inner struggle — something crucial to films with this subject matter.

Adrian Drayton


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