Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Dakota Fanning
Jeremy Irvine
Paddy Considine.
Directors
Ol Parker.
Screenwriters
Ol Parker.
Running Time
103 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Tokyo Tribe
2 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Pheonix
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Sweet Smell of Success
5 Star Empire Rating

Now Is Good
Dying Young II: Die Younger


submit to reddit


Plot
Tessa (Fanning), 17, is dying of leukaemia and set on living her remaining life to the full. New boy-next-door Adam (Irvine) is on hand to help. Meanwhile Tessa’s father (Considine) worries and friend Zoey (Kaya Scodelario) has her own issues.


Review
Now Is Good
Dakota Fanning goes British: it’s a bold move for both star and filmmakers in this tween weepie based on the novel Before I Die. Fanning’s accent is distractingly posh as she plays newly rebellious Tessa, a heroine who is intent on taking drugs, losing her virginity and generally cramming all her teen rebellion into the months of life she has left.

Still, it’s refreshing that this is no dying-girl schmaltzfest, at least in the party and drug-taking scenes. There’s a gently irreverent sense of humour pervading them as well as those with Olivia Williams, who plays Tessa’s Ab Fab mother, a free-thinking hedonist who takes an amusingly relaxed view of her daughter’s ambitions. More sceptical is Williams’ estranged husband, played straight by Paddy Considine as a furrowed-browed father who’d rather wrap his dying daughter in cotton wool than see her out drinking with friends.

Conveniently, a middle ground comes with the arrival of new neighbour Adam (War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine), a sensitive teenager who’s up for long walks and the long haul as well as popping Tessa’s cherry. Despite the odd wobble there’s something a little too virtuous about Adam: the romance is sweet but never feels sufficiently endangered by anything other than Tessa’s sadly inevitable death. And aside from her tragic fate, Tessa’s not an easy character to warm to: perhaps it’s the script, which fails to get under her skin, along with the nagging feeling that Fanning isn’t 100 per cent comfortable on British soil.

Now Is Good is perhaps most memorable in the brief but heart-wrenching hospital scenes: when Tessa’s warring parents quietly acknowledge each other’s strengths it’s moving and shows off the talents of the more experienced adult cast. For all the film’s flaws, moments like these can’t fail to hit you where it hurts.


Verdict
Writer-director Ol Parker improves on dodgy lesbi-comedy Imagine Me & You with this uneven but ultimately effective weepie with terrific turns from Considine and Williams, who outshine the younger cast.


Reviewed by Anna Smith

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Now Is Good
Empire Star Rating

Before I Die

It still annoys me that they changed the title, however trivial that may seem. Anyway, I loved the book. It was so realistic and haunting and just plain beautiful, to be quite honest. I'm pretty happy with the review. Wasn't expecting three stars. I thought it would be a hard book to adapt properly, so this is fine by me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bethany__ at 00:09, 15 September 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
40 Of The Unlikeliest Movie Character Posters
Would you put these one-sheets on your wall?

Who Is The Vision, Anyway?
An introduction to Avengers: Age Of Ultron's newest addition

Jenny Agutter: Role by Role
From Tin to Captain America to The Railway Children

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for iced tea

Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The showrunner on The Beatles and that lawnmower

Empire's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review
Our verdict on what could be the biggest film of the year...

The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)