BEGIN AGAIN (12)
D: John Carney
The Weinstein Company/Exclusive Media/Sycamore/Black Label/Likely Story (Judd Apatow, Anthony Bregman & Tobin Armbrust)
US 🇺🇸 2014 (released 2015)
W: John Carney
DP: Yaron Orbach
Ed: Andrew Marcus
Mus: Gregg Alexander
Keira Knightley (Gretta James), Mark Ruffalo (Dan Mulligan), Adam Levine (Dave Kohl), Catherine Keener (Miriam Hart), Hailee Steinfeld (Violet Mulligan), James Corden (Steve)
John Carney reworks his plot from 2007's Once for another film that focuses on the world of a musician, this time the collaboration is between a feisty British singer-songwriter stranded in New York and a down-on-his-luck music producer.
Ruffalo plays Dan Mulligan, the struggling producer with a dysfunctional relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, keen to sign Gretta James to his label, but she's initially hesitant to do so, concerned that her individuality is at stake.
The overall production values are far more polished than Carney's 2006 breakthrough, and the cast is far more well-known, but the story feels a little more contrived here. The performances are fine, especially Keira Knightley who performs her own singing.
Still, it's a film about music and the soundtrack of original songs is an embarrassment of riches. One of the tracks, titled "Lost Stars" found itself nominated for an Oscar, and quite rightly so.