13/09/2012 by David Maybury · No Comments
I'm a huge Jenny Downham fan - Before I Die and You Against Me are two books I have talked about more than most. There was no way I was passing up a chance of seeing Now Is Good, the movie adaptation of Before I Die starring Dakota Fanning, a little early.
In the same way that Downham's book is not an easy read, Now is Good is in no way an leisurely watch. There are elements to the film that are uncomfortable and heart-wrenching, complete with the odd cheesey shot. Now is Good is a life-affirming film, but don't expect to feel uplifted in its wake, I left the screening feeling lucky... and glad I had some tissue.
But how does Jenny feel about all of the attention her book is receiving?
Before I Die was my first book and as a debut novelist my greatest ambition for the story was that it might be published. I had no hopes beyond this. I’m completely bowled over by how well the book's been received and to have it made into a movie is... well, I still wake up most mornings thinking I dreamed it. Now the story gets to reach more people, and hopefully some of those who come to Tessa through the film will find the book too.
How different is the adaptation to your original?
Tessa is dying. She's made a list of all the things she wants to do and determines not to die until the list is done. But what she wants at the start doesn’t give her what she needs or expects and the list alters and grows. Now is Good follows this journey and although, inevitably, changes have been made from the orginal novel, I hope that if people enjoy the film, they’ll want to read the book too and find out the differences for themselves!
Like any story featuring the Titanic, you know how Now is Good is going to end and no amount of forewarning can stimey a strong reaction to the honest and stunning performance by Dakota Fanning, Paddy Considine and Edgar Canham. Check out the trailer before it hits cinemas next week.