Review by Darryl Griffiths

After penning the script for this year’s surprise British hit ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ which was packed to the brim with national treasures, it’s perhaps inevitable that Ol Parker turns back to perfecting the art of directing. Retitled for the cinematic massive, he tackles here a sensitive subject matter using Jenny Downham’s acclaimed novel of ‘Before I Die’ as inspiration.

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Review by Matthew Turner

What’s it all about?
Directed by Ol Parker and based on the novel by Jenny Downham, Now Is Good stars Dakota Fanning as Tessa, a 17 year old British girl who has opted out of continued treatment for her terminal leukaemia, much to the concern of her over-protective father (Paddy Considine), her younger brother (Edgar Canham) and her separated mother (Olivia Williams). Instead, Tessa plans to live out the rest of her life to the full, so she writes a secret list of things she wants to do before she dies (lose virginity, take drugs, shoplift, etc) and asks her best friend Zoey (Kaya Scodelario) to help her tick them off. However, when she meets her sensitive new neighbour Adam (Jeremy Irvine, down off his War Horse), the pair find themselves falling for each other, which is something Tessa hadn’t counted on.
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Review by Anton Bitel

“Moments”, begins the voice-over at the beginning of Now Is Good. “This is one. This, right here, right now, is definitely a moment.” It will take a few of these moments before the speaker will come into focus as Tessa (Dakota Fanning), a 17-year-old intent on losing her virginity that very night with one of the two boys that she and her best friend Zoey (Kaya Scodelario) have pulled for this express purpose – but it will be a few moments more before we realise that Tessa’s headlong rush through adolescent rites of passage is no mere youthful impulse to live fast (and perhaps die young); rather she is desperately clambering to embrace the fullness of life via a ‘bucket list’ of essential experiences before she succumbs to the leukaemia that is rapidly killing her.

Review by Sugar Scape

So what’s it about then?

Now is Good follows the story of Tessa, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Determined to do everything she possibly can before she ultimately passes *sob*, Tessa goes about losing her virginity, getting drunk, and all the usual things you might expect of someone living out their last days.Then she goes and big-fat-falls-in-love with Adam – and things get a lot more complicated. 

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Review by Jane Williams

Last Sunday, My Sister’s Keeper was on TV. I tried, really tried not to watch it but it being a Sunday evening, it was a great time for wallowing and I wept my way throughout the entire movie. Cut to the next morning – a typical Monday and the preview email for Now Is Good popped into my inbox, so why not continue with the depression session?

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Review by London Film Fanatiq

Dakota Fanning stars in the British big screen adaptation of Jenny Downham’s Before I Die, albeit more cheerfully entitled Now is Good.  Directed by scriptwriter Ol Parker (The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel), the film is a tear-jerkingly predictable drama about a teenager with Leukaemia.  Reminiscent of an old US after school special, Now is Goodnot only gently tackles terminal illness, but also teenage pregnancy and familial dysfunction.  Somehow, Parker’s film manages to make all three topics entirely and equally uninteresting.

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