Begin Again (2013)

Greenbelt 3 poster

Dan:  That’s what I love about music.  All these banalities suddenly turn into beautiful pearls.
Premise from imdb: 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.
Written and Directed by John Carney
Music by Gregg Alexander

Stranger passing out tracts on subway:  I thought there was no hope.  I thought there were no answers, but then I found God.  He may not be on our time, but He’s always on time.

BEGIN AGAIN is a very beautiful movie that almost leaves me speechless.  

Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo have good on-screen chemistry and I believe that every actor that supported them in the movie was chosen well by Stephanie DeCourcey and Jeanne McCarthy.   Keira is perfect as Gretta and I could also say that Mark is perfect as Dan.

Both the screenplay and execution by John Carney are superb.  It is well-written and beautifully weaved.  By saying that, am I being redundant? Well, so be it! ;-)

I remembered my paternal grandfather when Dan was imagining the musical instruments and arrangement of Gretta's song while she was singing and strumming during the "Open Mike" event where Steve works.  My grandpa, or lolo or tatay as I fondly called him, would imagine adding violins, cellos, timpani, etc. while his grandchildren were playing the piano.

Sometimes, that's how I compose music too.

Now back to the movie...

James Corden gave life to Steve and made him very endearing.  Adam Levine was so good at being an a%*hole that it made me want to throw rotten tomatoes at him.  Hailee Steinfeld and Catherine Keener were very effective as Violet, Dan's daughter, and Miriam, Dan's estranged wife, respectively.   

I don't want to give the story away, but a lot (definitely not all) of musicians would be able to relate to this movie and non-musicians too.

It is truly worth your time and probably, like me, you won't mind a second look (or third, fourth, etc.).  

The crowd or audience in the cinema where I watched this movie for the first time(Saturday, July 19...I was supposed to be on an outreach in Tondo(so I skipped choir practice and service), but decided just to give a wheel chair and a few Pesos so I just had some "me time" while my parents were attending an 80th birthday celebration of one of dad's classmates at Spectrum at Fairmont Hotel) evidently enjoyed the film.  I could hear them laughing, snickering, singing along, etc.  Everyone had a smile on his or her face.  Some were still talking about "it" inside the restroom.  Boy, this surely is one great movie. 

Oh, and may I mention that the ones who watched the movie ahead of me, while exiting the theater, also had smiles on their faces? Lovers(married or not) were extra lovey-dovey(One boyfriend who had his arm draped on his girl's shoulders was even caressing her arms up and down, bringing her extra closer to him while walking, and she looked pleased) and a group of friends were giggling.  A couple or more were whistling some tunes.


I am still hungover until now.  

I am adding John Carney as one of my favorites in directing and screenwriting. ;-)

I watched this at Greenbelt 3, Cinema 4 the first time
MPAA Rating: R for language

Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley

Gretta:  What’s beauty got to do with it?Dan:  You’re tricky, aren’t you?Gretta:  No, I just think music’s got to do with ears, not eyes.Dan:  You gotta do whatever you can to get people in to your show so the music can do its work.

Keira Knightley and Adam Levine

Keira, Hailee Steinfeld and Mark
Violet:  How do you get someone to notice you’re ignoring them if they’re ignoring you?   
Gretta:  Well, for starters, stop dressing like you’re totally easy.


Cast from Wikipedia:

Storyline from imdb: 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

Keira Knightley sings:


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