Sunday, August 03, 2014

Begin Again

    Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley star in this charming comedy/drama from the folks that brought us the film, "Once". An unconventional love story filled with terrific music, this is a film that goes down smooth on a summer night (which is what you can say about "Once" as well).

     The film co-stars Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Cee Lo Green, and Yaslin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). Ms. Keener is Mr. Ruffalo's ex-wife and Ms. Steinfeld plays their teenage daughter. Mr. Bey, together with Mr. Ruffalo own Distressed Records. 

      Distressed is appropriate for Mr. Ruffalo as when the film starts he is very much down on his luck until he meets Ms. Knightley singing in a bar. She is a struggling songwriter and Mr. Ruffalo becomes inspired by her and decides to produce her first album. I won't spoil Mr. Levine's role but suffice to say, he does get to sing quite a bit (as does Ms. Knightley) and the original songs for the film make an excellent soundtrack.

      The editing at the beginning uses flashbacks in a clever way to introduce the characters. Director John Carney (who also wrote the screenplay) then takes the film to the streets of New York in an unusual way and the city itself becomes a character. There are equal parts drama and comedy but everything stays lighthearted and enjoyable.

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