Writer/Director John Carney had a big hit in 2006 with “Once.” That film was about two musicians making beautiful music together. It was a really good movie and worth seeing if you missed it. Carney now returns with ” Begin Again”, another feel good movie with a terrific soundtrack. I had feared it might just be a high budget “Once” but it has a different plot, more depth, and the music is just as good.
Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is in a dark place. He started an independent record label years ago but hasn’t signed a star in about 5 years. He is not coping well with the stress of his separation from Miriam (Catherine Keener). He has hit the bottle and the skids.
Dan, while drunk, stumbles into an East Village bar with an open mike and hears Gretta (Keira Knightley) sing one of her original songs with her acoustic guitar.. Although Gretta isn’t a polished performer, Dan envisions the song with the proper arrangement and is convinced she has what it takes to be a major star.
Gretta is the girlfriend of Dave ( an unexpectedly terrific Adam Levine) who has just had a hit from a movie soundtrack and is taking off like a rocket, putting a strain on their relationship.
The movie primarily involves Dan and Gretta’s relationship as they make a CD together.
The soundtrack is strong and Knightly does a good job with the songs. All four leads are excellent.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and I think you will too if you like folk and rock.
I was thinking of taking a second look at “Once” just to compare the two films but I don’t know if it is possible to see “Once” again!
Rating 8.5-top 10 movie worth a trip to the BS