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225 user 295 critic

Begin Again (2013)

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A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter, new to Manhattan, turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.

Director:

John Carney

Writer:

John Carney
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Popularity
3,067 ( 68)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Corden ... Steve
Keira Knightley ... Gretta
Mark Ruffalo ... Dan
Hailee Steinfeld ... Violet
Yasiin Bey ... Saul
Karen Pittman ... Business Woman
Paul Romero Paul Romero ... Bartender
Catherine Keener ... Miriam
Andrew Sellon ... Christian Father
Ed Renninger Ed Renninger ... Barman (as Edward Renninger)
Eric Burton Eric Burton ... Singer Songwriter #2
Adam Levine ... Dave
Marco Assante Marco Assante ... Marco
Mary Catherine Garrison ... Jill
Jen Jacob ... Dave's Fangirl
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Storyline

Gretta (Keira Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. Her world takes a turn for the better when Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City. Written by The Weinstein Company

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You're only as strong as your next move. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 July 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Can a Song Save Your Life? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$134,064, 29 June 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,170,632

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$63,464,861
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scarlett Johansson was cast in the lead role in early stages of production, but dropped out. See more »

Goofs

When Dan throws his cell phone in anger in the hallway, it jumps from the right side and to the middle of the hall between shots. There is a strange edit at this point in the scene. So I understand what you saw. However, when his phone hits the ground the battery pack falls off and to one side of the hallway. The rest of the phone falls to the other. See more »

Quotes

Dan: That's what I love about music.
Greta: What?
Dan: One of the most banal scenes is suddenly invested with so much meaning! All these banalities - They're suddenly turned into these... these beautiful, effervescent pearls. From Music.
See more »

Connections

References The Mob Doctor (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Steve's Busking Song #2
Written & Performed by James Corden
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Don't judge a book...
20 July 2014 | by Phil WyattSee all my reviews

John Carney is one of the few people working in movies today whose next work I am always eager to see. Along with a few others such as Richard Linklater, he has proved to me that you can take a premise which has been explored many times before and view it from a different perspective to create something that feels original and fresh. His previous work 'Once' did this and is among my favourite films.

Suffice to say, when I saw the trailer for Begin Again it simply did not grab me. My first worry was that it looked 'too Hollywood' (read as 'cliche and predictable movie churned out to make money with little care or thought for the story it is telling'). I felt a little worried going in to see the film that somehow Mr. Carney had fallen foul of the big producers, making sacrifices to the story in order to get some 'names' into it.

However, around 20 minutes in, my hopes returned and I knew it was going to be special... and it just got better from there. the film builds on the story and characters as it goes on, making me care about them, showing me things I had never seen before in similar movies and above all, making me think. As the credits rolled, I was wiping my eyes, partly from the wonderful soundtrack but mostly because Begin Again is a magical film. It still has the 'spark' that I felt in his previous pictures, a huge amount of love, passion and care that has brought it into being - not just a half baked idea thrown out there to pay back impatient investors. The soundtrack, performances and well-crafted script took me on an emotionally rewarding journey, leaving me feeling inspired, uplifted and a little nostalgic for times gone by. yep, I am gushing, but it really is going to be hard to beat for film of the year for me.

Between the scenes, I also loved how it discreetly touched on some important issues with throwaway lines, addressing things which people take for granted these days: 'Music is for the ears, not the eyes.' and 'don't dress like you are easy' being two of them. Image is so ingrained into art these days, the majority of people all seem to judge a book by it's cover without looking inside. And the same could be said for this film too. On the outside it looks like yet another generic, manufactured Pop Idol... but if you sit down and watch it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised that it has something profound to say and says it well.

Thought provoking, life affirming and highly recommended!


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