Is This Now Review

Is This Now (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier


Director: Joe Scott
Writer: Joe Scott
Stars: Sabrina Dickens,  Brigid Shine,  Anu Hasan

Plot: Ingrid is a young women trying to deal with the abuse she suffered through in the foster care system.  With the help of new friends and her passion for music she tries to rebuild her life.

Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

IMDB Score: 8.2

Why I watched it: It was recommended and the reviews have been good.

Random Thoughts: This is director Joe Scott’s 4th film and all have used music. Now I wouldn’t call it a musical but there are full songs either sung or played during the movie.  It does create an unique rhythm and pacing for the film.

What I Liked: This is tough material. We’re talking about a young women who was sexually and emotional abused while going through the foster care system,  so first thing is they don’t show the sexual abuse, the lead character does have nightmares about it and flashbacks but we hear it.  What impressed me about the approach was that they tried to show what it was like to survive it, to live with what happened and also try to deal with it so you could move forward.  There’s not a lot of preaching or hand wringing but they do show that the system failed her, by letting it happen and also by doing nothing after.

At first the film left me a little cold as we jumped around to what seemed like random scenes, some having payoffs and some not. As the film went along it became more focused following the lead Ingrid as she slowly started building a new path.  Music is a huge part of the film, as Ingrid begins to take interest in being a songwriter after she falls into the music scene with new best friend played by Brigid Shine.

The acting was decent to good for the most part I did think Sabrina Dickens had a very difficult role and she nailed making Ingrid feel real and conflicted this wasn’t a character who had anything figured out and was scared.  That part was well done cause the whole thing with moving forward and dealing with the past is how difficult it is to do. Dickens brought a lot of soul to the role.

Another thing that  I liked was the fact it seemed like a life that was being lived, it wasn’t plot driven it was character driven and writer/directer Scott put the character first and plot second, so some of the film felt like little vignettes.

What I Didn’t Like: The tone was a little all over the place and at times the shifts are jarring and they felt rushed at times.  The narrative wasn’t  a straight and at times that’s fine but too many things just seemed to hang or just down right went nowhere.

The music as a whole didn’t bother me when Ingrid was singing it made sense, she’s writing songs and this is also like therapy for her but some of the songs just felt like filler and the music video would sometimes take you out of the film.

I didn’t like the ending, it’s jarring and felt out of place, now the ending could have worked if the film had the same tone as the ending but it doesn’t so the ending feels tacked on.  I get the ending but if you didn’t watch the very last scene I feel the film is better and a bit more consistent.

Final Thoughts: The film tackles big issues and I liked that they treated it with respect and thoughtfulness.

Rating: 6/10

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