Complete A-Z list

Now is Good (AF)


Stars: Dakota Fanning, Jeremy Irvine, Paddy Considine, Olivia Williams, Kaya Scodelario

Director: Ol Parker

The long-established British filmmaking tradition of importing American actors in the hope of giving Made-in-Britain pictures appeal at the box-office in the United States continues with the casting of Dakota Fanning as a 17-year-old English girl dying of leukaemia who wants to lose her virginity before the end.

Fanning’s English accent is surprisingly good, giving the relentless tearjerker a watchable centre, although I would advise you to take a box of tissues with you while watching screenwriter (adapting Jenny Downham’s best-selling novel Before I Die) and director Ol Parker pull your heartstrings until they twang.

Having survived Steven Spielberg’s misfire War Horse, Jeremy Irvine does a competent job of romancing the dying Fanning and Paddy Considine is unusually good playing Fanning’s ultra-protective father who is less able to come to terms with her imminent death than she is.

Sentiment pulses through every scene, diluted when Fanning is on screen determinedly trying to achieve her bucket list, especially after her doctor, having pronounced the end is on the way, tells her: “I would encourage you to do the things you want to do”. The film goes down the road to the inevitable end, while missing few weepie clichés on the way.

(For the record, I regret to report that even if you decide to leave your withers unwrung and miss the movie, you’ve already paid for it twice, once through your television licence and again with lottery money since both BBC Films and the UK Film Council have generously contributed to the production).

Alan Frank

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Warner. Colour by deluxe.
103 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 21 Sep 2012