Dir/scr: Jim Lounsbury. Australia. 2014. 97mins
There are plot twists and then there are supertwists. Love Is Now is a bittersweet romantic drama with the kind of supertwist (such as in The Sixth Sense) that throws pretty much everything that has gone before into doubt and confusion. That’s fine, but feature debut director/writer Jim Lounsbury leaves his big revelation very late, well after plot and character inconsistencies have become irritatingly troublesome.
Cinematographer Anthony Jennings makes central Sydney look good and there’s excellent rural photography along dusty roads and among orange groves.
It’s a very handsome widescreen movie with attractive performances, and made at commendable speed (only 23 weeks from greenlight to cinemas) with the backing of — among other private investors — Hoyts, Universal and Nikon.
Shot entirely on the new D810 DSLR, the movie’s partnership with Nikon is effective, if blatant. Protagonists Dean and Audrey are both photographers, she more focussed on worthwhile subject matter than he, and both proudly carry their Nikons.
They fall in love at a Sydney photograph exhibition and she convinces him to accompany her on a lengthy cycling and photography trip along ‘The Harvest Trail’, earning bed and board by fruitpicking as they go. She had attempted it two years before but had met with an accident before attaining the object of her trip: to watch daybreak from the top of spectacular Mount Warning.
Audrey (Claire Van Der Boom) is emotionally attached to a leather-bound journal in which she writes her thoughts and draws accompanying illustrations. Dean (Eamon Farren), gormless, unsophisticated and increasingly unwell, tries hard not to sneak a look at the journal while dealing with people they meet on journey, including Audrey’s former boyfriend James (Dustin Clare) and Becca (Rainee Lyleson), a keenly available orange picker.
Cinematographer Anthony Jennings makes central Sydney look good — bridge, opera house, botanical gardens, etc. — and there’s excellent rural photography along dusty roads and among orange groves. The digital images are indeed crystal clear.
The problems are with the screenplay. The central narrative is slow to get started and the Dean/Audrey relationship is maddeningly unclear. Of course they are both keeping secrets, and there’s that giant secret kept far too late up Jim Lounsbury’s authorial sleeve.
Production company: Eponine Films
International sales: Universal Pictures
Producer: Behren Schulz
Executive Producers: Behren Schulz, Jim Lounsbury, Sam Eather
Cinematography: Anthony Jennings
Editors: James Sutton, Scott Walmsley
Production designer: Paul Finch
Main cast: Eamon Farren, Claire Van Der Boom, Anna Torv, Chris Haywood, Dustin Clare, Rainee Lyleson, Lech Mackiewicz