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Review: A Beautiful Now

A BEAUTIFUL NOW images— by BEV QUESTAD —

Daniela Amavia, the writer/director/producer of this haunting psychological study, is a stunning Greek model for Chanel and Dior who became an actress, director and producer. Shot in 18 days, “A Beautiful Now” is an insightful study not only into Amavia’s own life, but possibly into the lives of a confused generation.

Looking a little like Amavia, the lead character is called Romy, exceptionally played by Abigail Spencer, who stars in NBC’s new series called “Timeless.” Romy is a noted ballerina who goes AWOL on her lonely birthday. She has holed herself up in her white tile bathroom with a weapon. The movie constitutes a series of flashbacks into Romy’s life as she reviews her failures and tires to justify her next step.

Amavia admits to the autobiographical parallels between her life and the film. Like Romy, as a child Amavia was drawn to ballet. Also, like Romy, she is beautiful, a seeming handicap for all the characters in this film.

Romy’s maxim is that the life of dancing is better than reality because it is an escape. She also reflects from experience that beauty gives power. How these two ideas have affected and corrupted her and her generation is the grit of Amavia’s story. With courage she explores the deeper aspects of the human condition that make simple happiness and human connection a daunting challenge.

A wry nod to its message, “A Beautiful Now” is an ironic title. No character seems to see beauty or anything much worthwhile in the moment, in the day, in the past, in the future or the present. Shot in muted shadow, Amavia accentuates this despair. However, the title implies that it is not the past or future that makes up life, but the now – and the hope that the now can be by self-design and a beautiful experience.

A BEAUTIFUL NOW images
“A Beautiful Now” opens in Los Angeles on Sept. 16 at Laemmle’s Music Hall and a special opportunity to interview the cast follows the evening showing on Saturday, Sept. 17.


CREDITS

Director/Writer: Daniela Amavia
Producers: Daniela Amavia, Lynn Kressel, Keith Kjarval
Cast: Abigail Spencer, Cheyenne Jackson, Patrick Heusinger, Collette Wolfe, Sonja Kinski
Runtime: 90 min.
Release: 12 June 2015 (Los Angeles Film Festival), 16 Sept. 2016 at Laemmle’s Music Hall (LA)
Country: USA
FB: www.facebook.com/abeautifulnow
Websites: www.unifiedpictures.com/bn_sp.aspx and http://montereymedia.com/abeautifulnow
Award: 2016 WorldFest Houston Golden Remi Award for experimental film

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