Begin Again: Film Review

 

On Location For "Can A Song Save Your Life?"

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this. I really is a feel-good movie, with a brilliant cast and an even better soundtrack. A must-see, in my book.

Keira Knightley stars as Greta, an English songwriter who moves to New York with her musician boyfriend (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in his movie debut) and he swiftly cheats on her when he finds fame. The night before she decides to head back home, she is forced to play at an open mic night, where troubled music producer Dan just so happens to be. The unlikely duo team up to make a low-budget album on the streets of the Big Apple.

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I love Ruffalo in everything, he just can’t do wrong in my eyes (btw, please go watch TV movie The Normal Heart – he is brilliant). He was the main draw for the movie for me, but also the music aspect. I loved the performance scenes in this, they just put a smile on your face and get your feet tapping. They were more unique and interesting being played in real New York locations.

Keira is great (I’m a big fan of hers too) but her voice isn’t the strongest. Her singing style is a light and wispy and I don’t know if that was how Greta was supposed to sound or if it had to be adapted to accommodate Keira’s limitations. She isn’t terrible and you soon get used to it. The first time you hear her sing solo doesn’t inspire confidence, but, to be fair, she isn’t supposed to sound polished and it was acoustic. Her character is a reluctant performer. Once the arrangements are added, the songs are so catchy that you can soon forgive the voice.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 3, 2012

The support cast were great from Catherine Keener as Dan’s estranged wife, Hailee Steinfeld as his daughter and James Corden as her English pal Steve. Levine was more impressive as the film progressed. I was concerned about his acting ability in the beginning and he is obviously a satirical rock star (his name is Dave Kohl for goodness sake) but his emotional depth comes out more later on. I wish he didn’t have a huge beard though, it didn’t look real and I couldn’t take him seriously. CeeLo Green also has a brilliant small part.

Although the outside performances are where this film shines, there is more to it than that. Dan and Greta help each other in times of need. Dan is suffering from alcoholism, which has affecting his work and relationships. They become great friends to each other and my favourite sequence is when they walk around New York listening to music together via headphones. There was a moment when I thought they would kiss and I hoped they wouldn’t – it would ruin the friendship and I didn’t want it to be a romance. I also thought that the movie would end without tying everything up, but luckily that part happens during the credits so stick around.

I cannot fault this (besides Keira’s voice). Everything is amazing, from the cast, dialogue and setting. The music completes it. The soundtrack is great – Coming Up Roses and Lost Stars are standout tracks. I bet you cannot leave this in a great mood.

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