Now is Good one of those films in the genre young woman dying of cancer. If there isn’t a genre called that there should be because films about it are plentiful. Don’t let that put you off, however. This film is beautifully directed, well acted, and heartwarming in many ways.
The film stars Dakota Fanning as Tessa, a 17 year-old English lass. Dakota Fanning demonstrated her acting talent many times throughout her childhood. Here she gets to sink her teeth into a more grown up role and she’s terrific at it.
Tessa has a bucket list of things she wants to do, chief among them is have sex. She has no boy friend to help her with this goal until Adam moves in next door.
Adam is played by the deliciously handsome Jeremy Irvine. They immediately connect. He is willing to help her with her entire bucket list, not just the sex part, and they do some exciting things together. Some of the most gorgeous scenes in the film are when Adam takes Tessa motorcycling on the beach and to a spectacular spot high atop white cliffs next to the sea.
Tessa also has a best friend, played by Kaya Scodelario, who helps her cope with her situation as well as fulfill some of her bucket list dreams, such as to commit a crime. The best friend gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby, her own way of growing up young. Tessa friend’s pregnancy gives Tessa a date to try to live to so she can meet the baby.
Tessa’s family includes a younger brother, her mother (Olivia Williams) who is disconnected and frightened by her daughter’s illness and deals with it by staying away, and her father.
Tessa’s father, wonderfully played by Paddy Considine, is the exact opposite of her mother – hovering and worrying over every detail of her treatment and life. Tessa’s not willing to be babied any longer and refuses further treatment for her leukemia. As she points out to them in the film, neither of them are giving her what she needs.
Now is Good is based on a novel by Jenny Downham. The film is co-written by Ol Parker, who also directed. Parker directed other favorites of mine including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Imagine Me and You. He’s directing the upcoming The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.
If you can handle a film about a dying child, I recommend Now is Good as very good.
All images © 2012 – Warner Bros. Pictures.