Keira Knightley sings in Begin Again, and who knew she could do that? It’s not a big, career-altering revelation or anything, but it’s perfectly believable in the context of this story about a young songwriter trying to make her way and a haggard industry veteran (Mark Ruffalo) looking for the next big thing. Begin Again was written and directed by John Carney, who gave us Once a few years ago. There are a lot of similarities between the two films, although this one is obviously a little more of a Hollywood experience. Budgets and stars tend to lead you down that path. Ruffalo is particularly good as the music impresario who has fallen on hard times, but Begin Again is ultimately a little too safe and direct in its execution. There’s not a shred of doubt about what’s going to happen, but it’s pleasant enough to watch things play out.
Director: John Carney
Producer: Anthony Bregman, Tobin Armbrust, Nigel Sinclair, Guy East, Sam Hoffman, Judd Apatow, Tom Rice and Ben Nearn
Cast: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine, Catherine Keener, James Corden, CeeLo Green, Yasiin Bey and Maddie Corman