Writer: John Carney (Screenplay)
Starring: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, James Corden, Hailee Steinfeld, Yasiin Bey, Catherine Keener, Adam Levine
Plot: A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Delightfully Charming Film
Story: Begin Again starts as we meet English lady Gretta (Knightley) who is forced to perform in a New York club only for record label executive Dan (Ruffalo). We move back to learn about Dan’s day, Dan is struggling with his own personal issues where he is struggling to deal with a string of failed musicians, failed marriage, drinking problem and his teenage daughter Violet (Steinfeld) he hasn’t seen in years. When Dan’s boss Saul (Bey) has had enough of his actions he finds himself fired, having to rebuild his own reputation.
Dan wants to give Gretta a chance at his record label, a way back into the industry but as Gretta struggles to make her decision after her own personal heartache in the big city with her breakout musician boyfriend Dave (Levine).
We watch how Dan goes out of his way to make Gretta the next big thing in music, using all her song-writing abilities while teaching her the art of performing, as they go out their way to produce an original sound in music industry.
Begin Again follows the struggle of an aspiring musician who gets a chance to make an album with a top producer. We see how both our leading characters Gretta and Dan struggle with their own heartache as they use music to help deal with these issues. We get to see how Dan can change his life for the better putting all back together. We see how Gretta steps out of the shadow of her famous boyfriend. Everything mixed together in the song helps with the storytelling that is one of the easiest watched of the year.
Keira Knightley: Gretta is the English lady who is a singer song writer that is dealing with her own heartbreak, she hates the performing side of singer but loves to write songs in her own time. When she meets Dan he wants to make her the next big thing in music and the two go out their way to record an album around the city of New York. Gretta is the perfect example of the dream of any musician dreaming of making it big. Keira is great in this role showing she has the musician chops to work showing that yet again she can enter another genre of film as she continues to pick her films wisely.
Mark Ruffalo: Dan is the record producer that has had a string of bad decisions, his marriage has failed, he doesn’t see his teenage daughter and has an alcohol problem. When he loses his job in the record company he started he hits rock bottom. When he hears Gretta he sees his chance to find the next big star in the music industry and goes out to make an original album. Dan is a brilliant producer that shows how supportive a producer can be if they find the right musician. Mark is great in this role too, showing in a year that included an ultra-serious role in Foxcatcher he can give us a charming performance too.
Hailee Steinfeld: Violet is the teenage daughter of Dan, she dressed much older than her age and has a strained relationship with her father. When Dan starts getting everything together again it gives the two a chance to get to know each other rebuilding the once lost relationship. Hailee is good in this supporting role showing she is able to blend in with any stars.
Adam Levine: Dave is the overnight sensation that was the boyfriend of Gretta, the reason why she is in New York in the first place, but when he becomes bigger he leaves her alone in the big city. Adam is good as he fits in the musician character needed for this role.
Support Cast: Begin Again has a good supporting cast that all help make the album happen, be it taking part in the music, spreading the world or being the inspiration behind the music.
Director Review: John Carney – John gives us a charming music based film that comes off enjoyable from start to finish.
Music: Begin Again uses great mix a music through songs being song through the film.
Romance: Begin Again shows how romances can be used to inspire musicians to produce the music.
Settings: Begin Again uses New York as settings getting into all of the lesser known locations.
Suggestion: Begin Again is one I do think everyone could enjoy. (Watch)
Best Part: Performing around New York.
Worst Part: It is chance after chance meeting.
Believability: In some ways but not enough.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: Yes, it is almost liked the conclusion of the film.
Oscar Chances: Nominated for an Oscar.
Box Office: $16 Million
Budget: $8 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
Tagline: You’re only as strong as your next move.
Overall: Delightful musical based movie, that deals with heartache and making up for mistakes.