January 23, 2015

See This Movie: Begin Again

Great little movie discovery we watched on demand this weekend... Begin Again, a 2014 charming, joyful movie starring Keira Knightley, Adam Levine, and a sexy scruffy Mark Ruffalo as musicians tackling life, love, and career in New York City.

John Carney, the writer and director of 2006's Oscar-winning Once, which I loved, has again put music at the centre of a 'little' movie. Ruffalo is a down and out music exec, Knightley is a vulnerable songwriter just dumped by her rock star boyfriend (Levine), and they meet in a bar at the end of one terrible day. And they save each other.

This is a gentle, touching flick; when Ruffalo pairs with Knightley and decides to record her album live on the streets of New York, the immediacy and brightness just shine. A colourful cast of characters join them on the streets to create and celebrate music. And the music is lovely.

Supporting players include Catherine Keener and Hailee Stanfield, who are great in small roles as Ruffalo's snarky ex and his rebellious teenage daughter.

The film is deceptively simple but with complex undertones and a big heart. Its joys are endless and Carney's portrayal of the characters, their relationships and the way music carries the narrative all make Begin Again a delight. 

Begin Again is funny and joyous, and the romance is less predicable than you'd think... relationships evolve, hearts are broken and music paves the way to resolutions, fulfilment and salvation.  

See Begin Again... which just got an Oscar nomination for best song for "Lost Stars".