RATED - (R) -104-MIN-2013
Begin Again Casts a Wonderful Spell with Heart and Music.
So, here's another gem of a film you can see on Netflix. It has recently garnered some attention in the media because the director: John Carney had some negative remarks about working with (Keira Knightley) on this movie. Apparently, he found her difficult. It doesn't show in the movie. Carney made a name for himself with the wonderful small film: (Once) about two struggling artists playing music, and falling in love, on Dublin's Street. If you haven't seen that one, I also recommend it highly. You probably know the great Oscar-winning song (Falling slowly).
(Begin Again) is also about music, and it starts off, in a small bar in New York. A British fellow: Steve ( a very likable James Corden) is up on stage singing and playing guitar for a half listening crowd, He is trying to convince on of his friends sunk in the corner of a couch, to come up on stage and sing one of her songs. She wants none of it, as she looks rather annoyed. She eventually gets up and goes, picks up the acoustic, and starts singing one of her tunes. Again, most people are not paying attention, but one rather haggard-looking fellow at the bar hears her and decides he must talk to this artist. This scene will be revisited several times in the movie, as we learn more about the characters and how they got to this point.
So this disheveled guy: Dan (the always good, Mark Ruffalo) used to be a pretty good record producer but is now having a rough go of it. He is divorced from his wife: Miriam (Catherine Keener), only gets to see his daughter:Violet (Hailee Steinfeld) a jaded teenager, a little each week and is being let go from his job. He is hanging by a rope.
As it turns out, the girl up on stage: Gretta (Knightley) who lived with her musician boyfriend; Dave (an effective and natural Adam Levin) who has made it big, has just dumped her after falling for another woman while on the road. She is shattered and wants to go back to England.
So Dan, without a pot to piss in, tells her he would like to produce some of her songs. He says he works for a label ( even though he was just let go) and they should make a demo for his business partner:Saul(Yasiin Bey). Dan hasn't been this jacked about a musician for a long time, but there is something about Gretta that he has a feeling about. She is reticent but agrees...because what the hell else is she gonna do. When Saul basically tells them to go make their own demo, Dan enlists one of his old clients: Troublegum (Cee Lo Green) who has made it big and has a great respect for him. Troublegum gets him some session musicians and this is where the heart of the movie is; seeing if making some good music can heal these people.
Dan decides they are going to record all of the songs in different places all over the city outside, to capture the ambient life of New York, and these scenes of them performing and recording have a wonderful life to them. They start to believe in this thing they are doing, and it is obvious that Gretta and Dan have an attraction to each other that is deeper than physical...it's the music. Dan gets to involve his ex-wife and his daughter also in the project, and this starts the healing process for them as well. It seems that Gretta is finding herself, and starting to heal...then Dave comes back to the city and wants to reconnect. Hows these few lost souls find each other and find themselves through the passion of music is really what this charming film is all about. The story may not be the most original, and it does kind of start a little slow and typical. But, give it a little time, and it cast a beautiful spell on you with its earnest heart.The last few performances: the one on the rooftop and Levine's final number, are fabulous.
You should see this movie!
watch the trailer: