Who We Are Now (2017) Movie Review

Director: Matthew Newton

Writer: Matthew Newton (Screenplay)

Starring: Julianne Nicholson, Zachary Quinto, Jess Weixler, Lea Thompson, Jason Biggs, Jimmy Smits, Emma Roberts

Plot: An ex-con tries to get back custody of her son with the help of an idealistic young public defender and at the same time falls into a romantic fling with a traumatized former US soldier.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Powerful Drama

Story: Who We Are Now starts as Beth (Nicholson) finds herself making an unannounced visit to her child, which leads her facing backlash in a fight to get custody of her son, young idealistic public defender Jess (Roberts) is given an offer from her boss Carl (Smits) to step up, with the number of cases, which will see us going through the struggles she is going through.

Jess will end up working with Beth trying to help her get her child back, while Beth tries to rebuild her life, be it finding a job or starting a relationship with traumatized soldier Peter (Quinto).

Thoughts on Who We Are Now

Characters – Beth has been in jail, she is out, cleaned up her life and would like to have her child back, only she is trying to keep the joint custody with her sister from going in the way of her sister, she is trying to keep employment, trying to get a full-time job, which she is struggling with, she is starting a relationship with someone else who has troubles in Peter. Jess is a young public defender that is trying to help people in need, she gets offered a chance at a promotion and is left torn between following her family’s wishes or making a difference in people’s lives. Peter is a former solider that has been traumatized by his time there, he finds friendship in Beth, as they are both broken from what has happened to them in their lives.

PerformancesJulianne Nicholson is fantastic in the leading role, she brings the pain and determination her character is going through to get her child back, despite having little to stand on. Emma Roberts brings us the idealistic character that is unsure on her future to life, showing us just how difficult this time of her character’s life will be. The rest of the cast do show the pain or struggles in their lives.

StoryThe story here follows a woman who is out of prison and looking to gain custody of her child again, with a young defender looking to take her case on, while trying to restart her life. This is a story that does follow many lives showing the struggles in life after prison sentences, while others are trying to help them get a chance other aren’t willing to give them. We might have a lot of characters does seem to get in the way of certain character developments. This does show the importance of giving people another chance in life and will be one that shows the struggles the people will have on making amends.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us the most unique use of settings, with the generic office, bars and low level employment that Beth is trying to find.


Scene of the Movie – The final hearing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some characters don’t get enough time on screen.

Final Thoughts This is a powerful look at how the legal system can hold people up in life, stop them getting another chance and end up causing more problems in life. We have excellent performances from all involved though, which carry the film to the next level.

Overall: Important Drama.

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