Writer-director Graham Atkins-Hughes short film, Be Now, is a tender and quietly moving portrayal of loneliness and confusion. Karn (Saskia Reeves) is a middle-aged woman, living alone and in need of human comfort. On a night out, she meets Simon (Anthony Green), and after bringing him home for the evening. The morning after, however, brings conflicted feelings – a potent mixture of fleeting satisfaction, regret, and isolation.
Reeves is both nuanced and relatable throughout the film’s brief six minutes, bringing pathos and depth to Saskia. Green, too, acquits himself well in a brief role, and the whole affair is shot admirably – the warmth of their evening together juxtaposed against the harsh morning light of the next day. The subtle eroticism of Be Now’s water motif is effective, too, with the splash of a tap on Saskia’s silk blouse reminding her of the spilt drink that brought the two together.
Atkins-Hughes screenplay, co-wrote with Kate Bingham, is a little less effective, labouring the point with a voice over that spells out what has been already so effectively told by the visuals. It’s a small gripe, though, in a short that packs in so much tender and recognisable feeling, and which – voiceover aside – allows its emotional ambiguity to speak for itself.
Be Now features as part of the Lift-Off Film Festival Collection: Best of 2010-2015, and is available to stream on Vimeo: