Monday, January 16, 2017

Now on Netflix: A Beautiful Now (2016)

A Beautiful Now (2016) - Written and Directed by Daniela Amavia; Starring Abigail Spence, Cheyenne Jackson, Collette Wolfe, Elena Satine, Patrick Heusinger, Guy Burnet, Ali Cobrin.

By Kenny Howell

A terrific ensemble cast performance is lost in a kaleidoscope of a narrative in this drama.

The terrific Abigail Spencer (Rectify) plays a dancer named Romy who is contemplating suicide and locks herself in her bathroom. When one of her best friends finds her, he calls to all her friends to come help figure out a way to get her out and hopefully save her life. From there, the movie dips in and out of the past, as well as Romy's hallucinations which she is playing out in the bathroom. The group reminisce and look back on how she got to this point, wounds and all.

Writer-Director Daniela Amavia tries to interweave all this time jumping into the narrative, which I assume is supposed to leave you a bit off balance like its protagonist. Unfortunately it is quite dizzying at times, and the movie just spins a bit out of control. It comes in and out so frequently that it is hard to settle into the story at all. Amavia also tries to add too much artistic flair when I think she could have benefited from letting the cast do their thing.

Spencer, who is rightfully becoming a star on TV, is as enchanting as she always is, and 30 Rock's Cheyenne Jackson is solid as a her best friend. The whole cast is quite excellent, and it is a shame that we don't get to spend more time with them as a group. It's sort of like a play in parts, and each actor does a fantastic job of working off one other, each building and adding something to the scene. I just wish we could have spent more time there and instead cut out several of the flashback scenes and cutaways. It just became too much after awhile.

A Beautiful Now is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **

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