Begin Again

This review was originally published on

Directed by John Carney

Written by John Carney

Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, James Corden, Cee Lo Green, Catherine Keener


Once creator John Carney again blends music and storytelling (in that order) in this likeable dramedy which slowly gets under the skin.

Opening with an intelligent use of two perspectives which combine in the antithesis of a meet-cute, Begin Again progresses to uplifting with James Corden unsurprisingly providing the best gags. Even the infamously irritating Knightley is more than bearable, if a little studied at times.

The film is so lo-fi that mumbled dialogue is sometimes obscure, yet the production designers excel aesthetically through meticulously detailed set dressing. It’s just a shame there isn’t more of the talented Hailee Steinfeld.

Carney’s screenplay pleasingly avoids cliché and retains the capacity to surprise throughout. Though there are a few faultless moments, Begin Again’s flaw lies in the fact that there’s not nearly enough narrative for the runtime; it’s more musical montage than movie.


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