Begin Again [2014] ★★★

begin-again-poster01Summer brings out the big guns in Hollywood with blockbusters ready to crush any movie that values simplicity and sincere emotion. Well, don’t let summer squash “Begin Again”, the new musical drama from writer-director John Carney, who did such a fine job with “Once” a few years ago (and won an Oscar as a result). “Begin Again” may not win awards, but it’s such a delightful film with a wonderful soundtrack. Keira Knightley plays a talented songwriter living in New York City with boyfriend Adam Levine (yes the guy from Maroon 5), where a hit movie soundtrack has turned him into a star. But when they break up, she winds up singing a song inspired by her heartbreak in a club one night. Enter Mark Ruffalo, a washed up music producer who happens to hear her and becomes convinced that he can make her a star. Don’t let the familiar plot get you down. “Begin Again” is incredibly entertaining, funny, touching and often bitingly true.  All the actors are aces, with Knightley scoring points for her terrific voice. I say cut through the blockbuster hype and seek this movie out. It’s an artful surprise and a great gift. You won’t be sorry.

Rating: 3/4

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