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Go Now


Builder and amateur footballer Nick meets and falls in love with waitress Karen.
But their idyllic love affair is undermined by Nick's sudden and unexplained illness. (


Royal Television Society's Best Writer award (1996)


Robert Carlyle    Juliet Aubrey    James Nesbitt




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Go Now Trailer

What the critics say

A poignant, touching tale of a young man afflicted by Multiple Sclerosis, Go Now suffers little of the sentimentality which often overwhelms television dramas dealing with illness and disability - which writer Jimmy McGovern contemptuously describes as 'wheelchair plays'. This, and the unusually authentic feel, owes much to the fact that McGovern's co-writer, newcomer Paul Henry Powell, is himself a sufferer of MS, and based the drama on his own experiences.
Broadcast in the same short series of contemporary love stories that produced the controversial ecstasy romance Loved Up, the drama takes time to build up the romance between builder and amateur footballer Nick and hotel administrator Karen before charting Nick's descent into illness. The early scenes establish Nick as a man defined by his physical activity - in his sport, his job and his sexuality - which makes his physical deterioration all the more difficult for him to accept.
The writers and director Michael Winterbottom (who, like star Robert Carlyle, had previously worked with McGovern on Cracker), largely provided by Nick's salt-of-the-earth mates, including the then little-known, pre-Cold Feet James Nesbitt as best mate Tony. But the drama's greatest strength is the immensely sympathetic playing of Carlyle and Aubrey, at its best in the powerful, moving - and devastatingly romantic - climactic scene, in which Nick, with a mixture of pride and self-sacrifice, attempts to persuade Karen to leave, only for her to remain stubbornly in the rain outside their flat until he finally relents.

Go Now is a sentimental romance that transcends similar films. It is not flawless, but it is enjoyable to watch, especially for Carlyle's honest portrayal of an average guy who meets a wonderful woman and is faced with a challenging turn of events. Cheryl De Wolfe, Apollo Leisure Guide.

The acting in Go Now is superlative. Robert Carlyle, who was good in Riff-Raff and Trainspotting, is amazing here, using body language, facial expressions, and vocal intonations to convey his character's experience to the audience. James Berardinelli

Robert Carlyle gives a strong performance as Nick, a spirited Scottish craftsman and soccer player who thinks life's at its best: good mates, good times and a good woman. Christine James, Boxoffice Online.

Go Now is a rather bizarre movie that boasts a solid lead performance from Robert Carlyle of The Full Monty....The wiry Carlyle is highly unlikely material for an international star. Wouldn't it be great (and very Al Pacino-ish) if he could manage to become one of the top dogs? CNN Review

Carlyle proves once again that he has a mortgage on every role in Britain that calls for a weedy guy with a thick accent. Carlyle is so likable, so human, with a smile and self-deprecating humor that glows off the screen. Cue

Robert Carlyle is known to most of us for his nauseatingly well acted Begbie in Trainspotting and perhaps as the title role in the TV series Hamish Macbeth. Here he is again showing how versatile he is as an actor, waking us up hopefully to the fine selection of films that don't come from the USA. Not all actors are type-cast for their entire career and I look forward to seeing this one performing once more. The story is about a man who finds both love and a terminal illness in quick succession, ultimately growing stronger from his experiences. Nimal Jayawardhana in Film Prog.

The chemistry between Carlyle and Aubrey is palpable, Juliet Aubrey demonstrating the necessary working-class roughness while Carlyle persuasively defines Nick's increasing vulnerability. Harvey S. Karten

Robert Carlyle ...may be the best young actor of his generation. E Files

Thankfully, the acting, including Carlyle's, is top-shelf. He trades his Full Monty-ish good humor for white hot rage and venom (something he put to good use in Riff-Raff and Trainspotting). Mr. Showbiz Movie Guide

Go Now stars the terrific Robert Carlyle, the leader of the bump-and-grind boys in The Full Monty as Nick, a young Scottish plasterer whose rough-and-tumble bachelor life in Bristol, England has just taken on the smooth edges of romance with Karen (Juliet Aubrey), a woman he'd met in a pub on a night out with his soccer mates...Carlyle and Aubrey make Nick and Karen enormously sympathetic, even as their behavior takes some wrong turns. We follow them as we would a threatened marriage among our own friends. We like them both, and want them to be together, but we're as stumped for answers as they are. Newsday.

Funny, touching, sappy, Go Now (a title taken from a Bessie Banks song) shows a new side of Carlyle for those who wanted to see more than The Full Monty. New York Post

Go Now, directed by Michael Winterbottom (Jude), maintains its spirited tone and dry humour despite heavy subject matter, buoyed along by a song-filled soundtrack and the ever popular presence of Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty). Rialto Cinemas

Go Now at times feels like a TV melodrama but eventually hits emotional pay dirt by virtue of two extraordinary performances. Robert Carlyle plays Nick, a man stricken with a diabolically unfair disease. San Francisco Sidewalk

Mr. Carlyle and Ms. Aubrey both provide strong-minded approximations of real people struggling with a medical disaster without comforting illusions and sentimental bromides. Andrew Sarris

A little film with big appeal, Go Now firmly establishes Robert Carlyle among the best of Britain's new acting talents. Under the direction of Michael Winterbottom (Welcome To Sarajevo), he made this gem for BBC-TV in 1995, before his rise to stardom in The Full Monty and Trainspotting. It offers another look at his natural ability to give the British working man international appeal and empathy....Go Now is also Carlyle's most demanding role to date. Named for one of the many r'n'b songs on the soundtrack, the movie is about the emotional changes that follow his character's physical breakdown due to multiple sclerosis. It's a challenge of body and mind that he answers beautifully. Peter Howell, Toronto Star.

The couple at the heart of the story is comprised of Robert Carlyle (whose ferret-like physicality is at odds with his leading man impact) and Juliet Aubrey. Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun.

The story, set in Bristol, is about a Scottish lad called Nick Cameron (the excellent Robert Carlyle) and his true passions in life. Evan Williams

The Full Monty's Carlyle takes it all off-psychologically, at least-in this poignant, honest and funny movie about a working-class soccer player who discovers he has multiple sclerosis....Both Carlyle and Aubrey are utterly affecting and heartbreaking real as the young couple. Mademoiselle

Robert Carlyle, star of The Full Monty, does an outstanding job. Stephen Farber. Movieline.

Robert Carlyle gives the best performance by anyone this year. Howard Feinstein in Detour

Robert Carlyle is one of the most rapidly rising stars in the world. The villain in Trainspotting and the sympathetic center of Carla's Song, he just won a British Best Actor Oscar for his role as the charming, unemployed steelworker who forms a team of male strippers in The Full Monty. But nothing this incredible actor's done can prepare you for his performance in Go Now, surely one of the most astonishing and affecting acting jobs of the decade. RR Cinema

As a Scottish construction worker battling multiple sclerosis, Carlyle (The Full Monty, Trainspotting) invests what might have been just another disease-of-the-week scenario with dignity, humor and even eroticism. His wide, fleshy mouth and brown puppy-dog eyes here suggest the face of a classic movie clown, but his emotional and sexual forthrightness lends him the aura of a romantic lead. Go Now shows off the actor's great versatility once again. C.K., Premiere

Helping greatly to make the movie an affecting drama is the intense central performance by Carlyle (The Full Monty and Trainspotting), who demonstrates once again that he has both rage and charm to spare. People

Though Go Now is essentially a television disease-of-the-week movie, it is distinguished first by the performance of a passionately good actor and second by Michael Winterbottom's lucid, engaging direction...Go Now depicts the onset of multiple sclerosis with force and accuracy, thanks to the understated precision of Mr. Carlyle's performance and the real fear and frustration he conveys. Janet Maslin, New York Times

Robert Carlyle on Go Now: "I'm more proud of that role than any other. It was the most psychologically demanding of any part I've played." Harper's Bazaar

Paul Henry Powell, the co-author of Go Now, who has MS: "An MS person looks for things to put his hands on; it helps the balance. Bobby spotted that. And he does things with his eyes. And keeping the head still. He found the tiny details." Harper's Bazaar.