Go Now

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Screenwriters: Jimmy McGovern, Paul Powell

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


Michael Winterbottom’s victorious Go Now represents another radical departure for this prolific British director. Exploring very different themes from his previous Family (1994) and Butterfly Kiss (1994), Go Now is best described as a bittersweet comedy about multiple sclerosis. Instantly disarming, Go Now is inspirational, funny, and moving. The film tells the story of Nick, a young Scottish construction worker living in the big city. He plays on the local soccer team and is in every sense “one of the lads.” Nick meets Karen, a bright and frothy hotel manager in training, and the two fall in love and move in together.

Soon after, Nick exhibits signs of serious illness. As his condition deteriorates, Karen suspects multiple sclerosis but opts not to tell him after she learns that added stress contributes to the disease. Go Now is an honest love story set in an honest world of laughter and pain. Nick’s friends and family radiate enormous warmth and support, although their efforts to deal with the disease are excruciatingly awkward. As his body slowly succumbs to the debilitating palsy, he experiences a wide sweep of jagged emotions—sorrow, anger, denial and resignation—and in the process gives himself and those who love him the strength to carry on and appreciate life’s wonder.

— Christian Gaines

Screening Details

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