Being Better follows Anna (Kate Roche) as she goes into a virtual reality self-development program in the near future.
In this film, Roche does a great job as the protagonist, consistently being relatable and subtle in her performance. A lot of her background and emotions are left for the audience to intuit, but she manages to give this vagueness and implication real emotional weight. As her guide through this VR experience, Lorna Nickson Brown is fantastic, with a performance that really effectively places her in the Uncanny Valley. Her performance is fundamental to creating the eerie tone that permeates throughout Being Better.
There are also some really sharp critiques of society’s treatment of mental health. Being Better deftly moves from issue to issue within this space, from the way in which we constantly try to compartmentalise the complexities of mental health issues, to the commercialisation of mental wellness, to our collective addiction to narrow ideas of self-improvement. None of this ever feels trite, instead, these ideas are subtle and meaningful hold up a mirror to society.
Ultimately, Being Better is an incisive look at 'wellness culture’ and its complexities.
New Creatives is a talent development scheme supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts, delivered in the Midlands by Rural Media. You can find this film here.
We also interviewed creator Emma Robinson, and you can read that here.