Keira Knightly is astounding in “Begin Again”, one of the best films of the year. Everyone in the film is great, but she steals the show. I always thought she could only do British period pieces. I was wrong.
She stars as Gretta, a struggling songwriter in New York after the break up with her now famous boyfriend singer Dave Kohl (Adam Levine). The film starts off with her singing in a bar, catching the attention of no one at first. Then we see one smile from a raggedy looking man. He is Dan (played to perfection by Mark Ruffalo). He has recently been let go from his music company he started and wants to make something new as a music producer with Gretta. He also wants to make things right with his daughter Violet (Hailee Steinfeld) and his former wife (the always great Catherine Keener).
There is swearing. Violet dresses in ways that teens (sadly) dress these days. I bring this up because apparently this is what the MPAA says is bad for your kids. I feel anyone in High School and older are more than fine seeing this film.
I would encourage those trying to make it in the music industry to see this film, because it truly shows its own love for music. The best scenes (besides the musical ones) are when Dan and Gretta are deep discussion about music (one of them is so great I may go back to see the film a second time just to hear it again).
The movie is not perfect: I felt it started off a little slow, but (like great music) it was a crescendo into an awesome piece of art. It’s director, John Carney, also directed that wonderful 21 Century musical masterpiece, “Once”. This is his follow up, and it is a pretty awesome one at that.
You may want to save an extra twenty dollars before the movie. It may come in handy when you want to buy the soundtrack.
Overall: 4 1/2 Stars **** 1/2