Saturday, July 19, 2014

watch | Begin Again

Begin Again is basically Once with celebrities. The story of down-on-their-luck (both in professional and personal lives) musicians finding each other through music is quite similar. The movie itself, not so much. It builds backstory through flashbacks, which can feel slow and unnecessary when you already know where the plot is heading, but they get the story across in a way that doesn't stop the momentum of the movie. The scene we all know from the previews, where Dan (Mark Ruffalo) fills in the instrumentals for Gretta's (Keira Knightley) song, is a little too Country Bear Jamboree after a couple of minutes, but this too shall pass.
Begin Again hits the weird combination of bittersweet and idealistic in just the right way, so you leave feeling happy or sad but you're not sure which. The songs are nice and aren't oversold because the movie doesn't show a public reaction to them - the creators are happy with their work, which is believable, but there isn't a barrage of admiration that's out of proportion to the appeal of the music. Begin Again is a welcome break from the action blockbusters and crude comedies that fill the summer.
4 out of 5 stars

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