Archive for July, 2014

‘VERY GOOD GIRLS’ by Ian Simmons

 

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Ian Simmons, a fellow movie critic, has this to say about the new film “Very Good Girls:”

I posted this on Facebook a couple weeks ago: “Watching a terrible movie in two sittings isn’t QUITE defeat, but it feels awfully damned close.” Very Good Girls turned out not to be terrible, unless you consider mediocrity an affront to quality–which I do, so the statement stands.

The problem with writer/director Naomi Foner‘s coming-of-age story is that it’s so generic as to be unworthy of the cast assembled to tell it. Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen star as Lilly and Gerri, two high school seniors who vow to lose their virginity before heading off to college. They fall for the same hunky ice cream vendor (Boyd Holbrook), but keep their affections secret from one another. Yes, it’s a summer of first times, last times, betrayal, and half-nude shenanigans as the girls learn about life ‘n stuff.

For the full review of “Very Good Girls,” go to: Kicking the Seat Website

 

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Zach Braff, more well-known as Dr. John ‘J.D.’ Dorian on ‘Scrubs’ and of “Garden State” fame (“Garden State” Trailer), is reminding us of his exceptional talents in his new film that he writes, directs, and stars in called “Wish I Was Here.”  The film is a slice of life about Aidan (Braff) and Sarah (Kate Hudson) as they try to manage finances, raise two children and care for an aging and sick parent.  There are times in your life that you hit a brick wall,and Aidan’s wall must somehow be torn down and reassembled.

 

Aidan is a struggling actor.  Audition after audition, yields nothing leaving his wife to support the family on an income not suitable for their California lifestyle.  Aidan’s father, Gabe, (Mandy Patinkin) is an older man with a strong Jewish faith, disappointed in his son’s choices in career and Christian wife.  Gabe has supported his son’s family by paying for Hebrew school until Gabe receives the news that he has Stage IV terminal cancer.  This revocation of financial support sets the entire family into a downward spiral, forcing Aidan and his rather eccentric brother to grow up and become men. (Mandy Patinkin Changes Luck of “Wish I Was Here”)

 

wishhudson“Wish I Was Here” is a thought-provoking and realistic look at so many families.  What happens when there is a blending of two religions in one family?  Who hasn’t been hit with financial woes in their life?  When is it time to give up that dream and face reality?  There are so many issues this film brings to light including that of love, forgiveness, death, and being present in the moment.  The film reminds us that we can easily get caught up in the day to day garbage and forget that life should be lived.  

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Both Braff and Hudson show their true range of abilities in acting in this film.  Braff demonstrates humor and sincerity as a father and husband, but also quickly portrays the human emotion of struggle, frustration, and disappointment.  A longing for childhood and childhood games of saving the world in his imagination are interspersed from the beginning to the end of the film, tying all the strings together perfectly. For Kate Hudson, this is one of her best roles since “Almost Famous” and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”  She exhibits strength as she plays this complex character.  Her ability to show compassion and understanding of those around her is truly remarkable.

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Initially, the film is very funny and although the hilarity decreases with the seriousness of the film, the humor remains interwoven throughout themovie.  From the overstuffed “swear jar” to the Comic Con costume contest, wishcomicand a shaved head donning a pink wig, funny situations are continually entertaining.  But at the same time, the story unfolds quickly and develops each character, exposing who they really are and with what issues they are dealing.  Aidan’s longing for childhood and dreams of “saving the world” in his imaginary world are interspersed from the beginning to the end of the film, tying all the strings together perfectly.  

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Sarah has work issues that spill over into her home life.  And dealing with her disapproving father-in-law pushes her to grow.  Aidan’s brother Noah is brilliant, but extremely quirky and a “big disappointment” to his father.  Relationships branching out to all parts of the family come to a head.  With Aidan and Sarah’s  young teen daughter and her religious convictions and an active young boy, their work is cut out for them.  The film is full of the crossroads in life and it is enlightening to watch if they turn left of right.

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“Wish I Was Here” is a film about life; the good and the bad and all the parts in between.  Family dynamics can be difficult, but at the heart of everything is family.  “Wish I Was Here” is a wonderfully balanced film as it delves into so many serious situations yet still finds a way to make you smile through humor or empathy.  The empathetic aspect will also find a way to make a few tears stream down your cheek as well.  “Wish I Was Here” is a sincere look at life with a message for everyone: live life because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

WISH I WAS HERE MOVIE TRAILER

9 REELS

Acting Out Theatre’s production of ‘Les Miserables’ captured the true heart and soul of the story.  Never have I been a fan of this musical, but Acting Out has converted me to a believer in the story and the essence of what Victor Hugo intended.  It was beautiful in every conceivable way; even in the sadness of the story it was still truly beautiful.

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Walking along the winding roads under a canopy of old trees, I followed the ever growing sound of an orchestra playing.  The outdoor theater was packed and I set up my chair, back and center.  As the clock tower at Shapiro Developmental Center struck 8:00 pm, the gentle les3breeze on this cool summer night welcomed the beginning of ‘Les Miserables.‘   The single stage, constructed of what appeared to be limestone, seamlessly blended  with the deteriorating building behind it.  With the power of the first lyrics sung, I was immediately captured and pulled in to the era and the desperation of the characters and situation at hand.  

 

les4  The cast of ‘Les Miserables’ couldn’t have been stronger.  From the main characters to the supporting cast, there wasn’t a weak link to be found.  Fantine, played by Jenna Dickey, elicited hopelessness and anguish with a powerful and crystal-clear voice.  Her range of emotion matched by her ability to hit notes of various octaves, which delivered passion and sympathy.  The chill in the air accompanied the continued cold and dark scene, enabling you to be even more a part of the production.  Jean Valjean, played by Neal Woodruff, and Javert, played by Cody Marcukaitis, were equally intense with their performances, eliciting a reaction of overwhelming sympathy and/or anger.  Emily Yantes who played Cosette and Ali Carter who played Eponles10ine, showed strength and elegance with their voices,les1 enabling the audience to truly care for their characters.  Even the children in the cast had the ability to not only sing with passion, but to act.  Thomas Musgrave was the fiesty little Gavroche and Rae Stucki, the “Little Cosette” were remarkable.  Their angelic and lyrical voices wafted over the crowd, settling comfortably and sadly in our hearts.  Michael Keigher’s performance as Enjolras carried the battle scenes of the young men, matching his zealousness with the beat and determination of the orchestra.  The balance of the sadness with the humor of Thenardier (Kyle Cassady) and Madam Thenardier’s (Deena Cassady)  performance kept you completely entertained.  Each and every actor, when on the stage, was a stand-out.

 

The time swept by as the story unfolded harmoniously before me.  Not a beat was missed by the performers on stage, in the orchestra pit, or behind the scenes.  The lighting, timing, and set design were extraordinary les5which enabled scenes such as the daring death of Javert to be so impreles12ssive.  The articulation, clarity, and crispness of each note and lyric sung resonated across the open grassy area.  There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.  The costuming and make up were equally impressive as the era and depression of the time was accurately portrayed.  The dire circumstances were palpable with each of the characters.  As the clouds began to roll in with a distant sound of thunder, the scene couldn’t have been timed more perfectly.  Quickly, the stars began to appear as the final scene, full of hope and relief unveiled itself.  The brilliance of the stars in the sky equalled the stars on the stage.  Mother Nature must have been a part of the cast as well.  

 

‘Les Miserables’ was an emotionally powerful and bold performance with an unbelievably talented cast.  Deftly directed by Marsha Hill, this les9story was not just beautifully told it delivered the tale with overwhelming emotion.  A successful play or musical takes so much more than just an extremely talented cast and director, it also requires a skilled and masterful crew.  The complexity of this one stage to deliver this intricate story was amazing.  To undertake ‘Les Mis’ is one thing; to perform it to the level that rivals, if not surpasses professional production companies in Chicago and I confidently say the Hollywood version as well, is quite another.  Acting Out Theatre Company did just that.  

 

For more information about NEXT year’s production as well as upcoming shows, visit Acting Out Theatre Company

 

 

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“Magic in the Moonlight,” Woody Allen’s new film, is an enjoyable ride through familiar territory.  Allen keeps his more recent style making me a fan of his work.  “Magic in the Moonlight” is set in the romantic 1920’s in the South of France.  Colin Firth plays Stanley aka Wei Ling Soo, a world-renowned magician who can debunk any soothsayer.  These skills are called upon when a long-time friend and fellow magician needs to prove to a wealthy and giving family, that Sophie (Emma Stone) is just a flimflam artist.  

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The film opens with music that you automatically associate with any Woody Allen film.  The old time music sounds directly from an antique victrola.  A certain calmness comes over you as you read the placard on the screen:  it’s 1928 Berlin.  An oriental magician is amazing a packed ornate theater.  Wei Ling Soo quickly dissolves backstage into a Brit who is unbelievably self-absorbed and completely condescending to others—but in a jaw-dropping and entertaining way.  Stanley’s long-time colleague, Howard, convinces Stanley to forego his upcomagic6ming trip to the Galapogos Islands with hisfiance and help him in the South of France to outwit and expose a woman who says she can communicate with the dead.  

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Emma Stone’s performance as the young and talented medium who experiences “vibrations” while communicating with other forces, is quite entertaining.  With her food obsessive behavior and typical Emma Stone down-to-earth performance, you love her from the beginning…even if she can eat and eat and stay so skinny!  Colin Firth as Stanley carries the film with his Woody Allen soliloquies, enabling us to know his every thought and feeling.  He’s logical and a pessimist.  He believes in science. The banter in which he engages with everyone is witty and smart.  Allen touches on all topics in life to lead you to think about the existence of God, the purpose of life, and how to live life to its fullest.  And he does this in such a humorous and entertaining way!  But is there a possibility that the chemistry between two people can be magical?

 

This is an absolutely gorgeous film.  The camera workand lighting imagic2s notable with the depth of field shots beautifully accenting each character.    The attire is beautiful and there is a certain elegance in the entire era.  Ahhh, to be rich in the 1920’s had to have been the life.  The ornate furnishings with an ever-ready and abundance of wine and liquor to be served at all times of the day without a care in the world is the overall feeling in this film.  The biggest obstacle is to sort out whether or not Sophie is a con artist.  

 

“Magic in the Moonlight,” although it is a bit slow at times due to too many speeches by Stanley and the party scenes seemed more to show off the opulentperiod than to augment the story, is still a wonderfully thought-provoking, funny, beautiful, and entertaining film.  I have become a fan of Allen’s more recent work.  I’m not sure if he’s changed or if I have, but through the magic of film, I was transported back to the 1920’s and was whisked away into another world.  Yes, there is magic.

8 REELS

 

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Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton star in this continuation of life and love story showing us it’s never too late to live.  Douglas plays Oren Little, an uncensored, egotistical real estate agent who finds himself caring for his incarcerated son’s daughter.  Keaton is a lonely widow, Leah, who is looking foranother start in life as a singer, but lacks emotional stability. The two find each other and help one another along that path in life.

 

Oren Little is a self-centered man, struggling with the loss of his wife and the loneliness he has created for himself by pushing everyone close to him away with his ascerbic tongue.  As he attempts to sell his home that he and his dearly departed wife built together, he moves into a condominium of sorts only to be inundandsoated by what he loathes:  other people.  Leah and the other tenants have no love lost with Little, but when Oren finds himself parenting his newly found granddaughter, this community bands together for the sake of the child.

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The overall message in this film is wonderful. Rob Reiner, the director of the film, stated that he does the same love story over and over again, just at different stages in life.  He punctuated that fact with the statement that you’re never done learning until the true end of life.  This film shows just that fact.  We can all finand so1d love and learn new things no matter how old we are.  And we can reinvent ourselves at different points in our life.  Reiner also shared that his own mother, in her 60’s, became a singer.  Keaton’s character seems to be influenced by this fact.  With a pure and motivating message, a writer known for the remarkable “As Good as It Gets,” and Reiner at the helm as director, it seems a perfect combination for a great film.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  The acting is just that—acting.  It never feels natural or real.  The progression of the story is disappointingly predictable and the use of potty humor from Keaton and Douglas is completely out of place and uncomfortable.  The film becomes sappy without any real development of characters.

 

“And So It Goes” seems to try too hard to be appealing to the mainstream population; foregoing the chutzpah to be a bit more daring and real.  This film had the potential to make a mark in cinema, but it fell prey to the Hollywood formula.  Keaton and Douglas didn’t stand out, but just seemed to be reciting lines.  It is all too contrived with little depth making it a film to see on DVD.  But remember, it does have a wonderful message:  Life continues on and it’s never too late to try new things!  Live life to its fullest!

 

2 Reels

 

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“Lucy” opens in wide release this weekend starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. Written and directed by Luc Besson, this sci-fi action thriller isn’t for everyone.  The premise, on the surface, is intriguing:  What happens when an average person can now use more than 10% of his, or in this case, her, brain capacity?  Unfortunately, there’s more to the story.  In “Lucy,”  a woman is accidentally caught up in a drug smuggling ring, taken captive,  and inadvertently uses the drug which allows her to fight back against her captors.  Drugs, violence, special effects, and more brutal carnage are a major part of this film therefore making it not suitable or appealing to everyone.

 

“Lucy” begins at the true beginning; with the explalucy4nation of Darwin’s Lucy and evolucy2lution.  Yes, many refute this as the true beginning and research has shown a skeleton to predate Lucy, but let’s just go with the movie’s beginning, shall we?  We fast forward to present day Taiwan where a shady deal is going down and our main character, also named Lucy, is caught up in something she never bargained for.  With death surrounding her and her own possible demise, she and several others become pack mules, smuggling a new and potent drug called CPH4, around the world.  The drug, through a brutal attack, is released within Lucy’s abdomen where it has been surgically placed and she undergoes significant neural growth.  In other words, she out-thinks, out-smarts, and out-maneuvers her captors.  Her brain capacity continues to increase, but not without consequences—she cannot live much longer with this constant state of cell development and reproduction.  She must pass on her new-found knowledge and place it in the right hands.  As she battles her captors, picking them off one by one, she seeks out Professor Norman (Morgan Freeman), a neuroscientist who can understand what she can do.  It’s a race against time.

 

lucy3“Lucy” shows promise at the start.  It’s intense, but volleys successfully back and forth with humor by splicing in nature scenes such as a jaguar finding and killing its prey as the ominous Mr. Jang locks in on his victim, Lucy.  It also throws in wonderfully educational information about the superior intellect of the dolphin which is in no doubt due to the writer and director’s passion for marine biology.  Unfortunately, quite quickly, this film goes from a promising sci-fi thriller to a gruesomely brutal action flick.  As my screening partner stated, “It is like watching kids play one of those gory, killing video games.”  There is plenty of gun-fire, car chases with the requisite car crashes, blood-spurting violence, bodies dropping left and right, with surprisingly little use of brain power to out-wit “the bad guys.”  (Spoiler Alert) It’s also interesting that Lucy performs a mind-meld sort of maneuver on Mr. Jang, but choses to let him live after killing about 75 people on her way to “visit” him.  I guess the movie would have ended too soon had she have decided to use some of those synapses and realize that if she killed him right now, life would be so much easier!  Perhaps I use more than 10% of my brain! Nah…

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Morgan Freeman is competent in whatever role he chooses and his role in “Lucy” is no different.  He is believable as a scientist at the head of his field.  Scarlett Johansson plays the lifeless, emotionless, femme fatal which is reminiscent of  every other role she has had.  Her inability to provide any inflection in her breathy, monotone voice lulls you into boredom which is exactly what the repetitive violence and action scenes do.  In fact, the final third of the film is laughably ridiculous and requires complete suspension of any belief system.  Amr Waked, from “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” is notable with his performance as Pierre Del Rio, but unfortunately doesn’t have the necessary screen time to elevate this film.  The writing after the first 15 minutes is completely predictable with an homage to Terrence Mallick’s “Tree of Life” at the end of the film which just prolonged the much needed end to come.

 

“Lucy” is a science-fiction, action thriller film that overall is a disappointment.  With a promising beginning, it quickly develops into a typical shoot ‘em up, special effects, blood and gore Hollywood film.  If you love violent movies tlucy1hat are totally unbelievable or you like video games to come to life on the screen, then see this film.  If you don’t like extreme violence, skip this one.  The only ‘Lucy’ I want to see is reruns of ‘I LOVE LUCY.’  lucylove

 

1 star

 

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‘Les Miserables’ is a musical of epic proportions and Acting Out Theatre is taking on this challenge to perform outside on the grounds of Shapiro Developmental Center under the canopy of trees situated along the Kankakee River.  Each year, this theater company brings art, entertainment, and culture to our area and it looks like it will outdo itself again this year.  Attending a dress rehearsal just a couple of days before opening night, I was absolutely overwhelmed by  the sheer magnitude of the production. The elaborate set design,  the talented singers, performers, and musicians, and the coordination of all of these aspects truly shows that this is an endeavor of epic proportions.

The Kankakee area is filled with talented people who are hardworking and dedicated.  Wading into the Kankakee River to get rocks for the set is just one of the many examples of hard work and dedication not to mention the focus on perfection!  Check out these photos to get a glimpse of what to expect this weekend.

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For more information about tickets, go to Acting Out Theatre Co.

Show Details:

Dates: July 25, 26, and 27, 2014

Rain Dates: July 28 and 29, 2014

Time: Showtime is 8:00 p.m., there will be a pre-show “Beggar’s Feast”

Location: On the lawn of the Shapiro Administration Building, Get Directions.

Director: Marsha Hill

Tickets: Tickets are available June 1st- $12 at: King Music in Bradley, Joy’s Hallmark, and Love Christian Center in Kankakee, Elite Community Credit Union in Bourbonnais, and online(service charge applies)
Tickets at the gate will be $15

Check back for a full review of this production!

 

 

aliveALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC AND MEMORY is a scientifically emotional film about our basic abilities as humans:  communication and connections.  Over a three year period, filmmaker Michael Rosatto-Bennett followed Dan Cohen as he visited various nursing facilities.  What takes place on the screen seems almost impossible.  It is truly magical.  Patients with little connection to people and their environment, some with no recognition of their own adult children, put a set of headphones on, plug into an iPod programmed with songs of their generation and PRESTO! they come to life.  They talk about what they are listening to; they reminisce about the time period; and they talk about their feelings. But most importantly, they are connected to people.  With music, they come back to the world around them and are living again.
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I know this sounds like magic, but neurology actually supports this observation.  With the disease of dementia, the hippocampus or memory area of our brains, is affected.  It looks a bit like a bunch of spider webs throwing off the pathways in our brain, making it impossible for proper connections to take place. But music memory isn’t stored here.  Music reaches all the different areas of our brain and stimulates synapses or fireworks of communication so that we “wake up!”  Music touches us all on so many different levels, and Dan Cohen with his endeavors has helped to bring life back into these older folks who had given up and recoiled within themselves.

We baby-boomers will be inhabiting this earth, growing exponentially over the next 2 decades.  Don’t we want to help our own parents age more gracefully as well as set the precedent for our own care in the coming years?  See this film and empower yourself.

 

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I’ll admit that I was dreading seeing “Sex Tape.”  I had a choice to review “Begin Again” or “Sex Tape” for  the Friday edition of ‘The Daily Journal.’  I chose the former, thankfully!  With “Sex Tape,” just the title and the cast more than hinted at the fact that it was going to be crass and brain-numbing.  Don’t get me wrong.  There was a part of me that had hope.  I’ll admit that I found parts of “Bad Teacher” starring the same two actors, quite funny in parts, but I think that was due to Lucy Punch.   “Sex Tape,” however, was lucky to get a couple of mild chuckles from me.

The basic premise of the film is this:  A married couple, Annie (Diaz) and Jay (Segel) with two kids lead a hectic life and no time for each other, including no time for sex.  Yeah, no great shakes so far.  In an attempt to spice things up, the two create a sex tape which magically gets uploaded to “the cloud.”  In an effort to stop the tape from being seen

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by all their friends and the entire world, the two go to great lengths to get it back.  That’s it.  In a nutshell.  Tell you what, check out the trailer and save yourself $7-$10 because if you see the trailer, you see the film.  You also see all the funny parts and hear all the mildly humorous lines.  Yes, I find “the cloud” to be quite mysterious myself.  My daughter and I were on the same cloud for a while and I kept telling her to get off of it (insert Rolling Stones tune here).  Neither one of us was sure how to do it, but I know I don’t like sharing clouds.  I now have a very bizarre music playlist on my iPod that I find difficult to use while running.  Justin Bieber’s musical skills  just don’t do it for me.

sextape65Back to the movie.  I’m all for a good escape movie withno depth whatsoever.  But the key word in that last sentence is “good.”  ”Sex Tape” has to rank as one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year.  And I’ve seen some dogs.  The film is  truly boring.  I can only see Jason Segel’s ass so many times in a movie before I’ve seen enough.  I’m sure you men out there will enjoy the partial nudity from Cameron Diaz.  There are two possible saving graces in this film:  Rob Lowe and Rob Corddry.  I fsextaperobind these two men funny in whatever they do…until now.  Lowe played the millionaire CEO of the company proposing to buy Annie’s mommy blog.  His deadpan style of humor is poorly written and the direction he received couldn’t carry out any humor.  Corddry is totally underutilized and gives no additional comedic sextapelowevalue to the film.  Now let’s toss in Jack Black and we have complete raunchy, idiotic humor.  Thankfully, he only appears near the end of the film and in only one scene.  

What more can I say?  Crass, raunchy, dull, and predictable are words to describe this waste of time film.  But really, what did you expect?  I got what I expected.  A waste of a beautiful evening when I should have been on the deck drinking a glass of wine and chatting with friends.  See what I do to save all of you readers your time and money?  (Please send thank you’s in the form of red wine.)

Cheers!

SEX TAPE MOVIE TRAILER

1 Reel because I liked “the cloud” joke

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John Carney has done it again.  What?  You don’t recognize that name?  Don’t feel bad.  I didn’t recognize the name either, but “once” I did, I saw why I loved his new film “Begin Again” so much.  He is also responsible for the brilliantly written and  musically rich film “Once” that went on to be a live musical stage production.  “Begin Again” continues along the same astounding  musical pathway to entertain, captivate, and satisfy all who watch and listen.  The unusual pairing of Kiera Knightley and Mark Ruffalo bring life and love to Carney’s new words and vision.

 

Gretta (Knightley) is a bitter and angry transplanted Brit, living inDSC_4019 NYC with some obvious musical talents.  As she sits on the couch of a dive bar listening to her friend demonstrate his not-so-talented musical skills, she is cajoled into performing an original song with a Nora Jones overtone.  Surprisingly, there’s only one other person in the room who seems to be aware of this raw talent—Dan (Ruffalo), the rather drunken, hapless looking bum who is spellbound.  Quickly, the film changes gears and gives us the needed information of what happened earlier in the day to bring both of our lead actors to the point at which we are currently seeing them.  You see, they both have baggage.   They both have hit their own rock bottom and are looking to escape in one way or another.  

 

The story captures you from the opening scene.  Overall, Dan and Gretta’s stories are quite similar, yet separated by youth and middle age.  Dan and his wife have issues and are separated and Dan seems disconnected from his tbeginagain3eenage rebellious daughter, Violet (Hailee Steinfeld).  Gretta skipped happily across the ocean from the UK with her boyfriend only to have love issues envelop her; suffocating her to a point of almost no return.  But together, Dan and Gretta find hope in one another.  With Dan’s past skills in running a record label and Gretta’s raw talent, they work together to find themselves and help each other.

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Dan and Gretta are familiar characters as we can all relate to many of their situations and feelings.  But there’s a refreshing aspect to this story as there are no good guys or bad guys: it’s just about life.  In any life there is sadness, anger, love, and occasional triumph and humor. The multiple story layers in this film give it complexity without confusion.  Each character is completely developed so that you understand their decisions and thought processes.

beginagain2Mark Ruffalo, continues to amaze me with his more daring and risky roles.  “The Kids Are Alright,” the upcoming “Infinitely Polar Bear” and now “Begin Again” truly highlight his rich acting skills.  Kiera Knightley is also so much more than a pretty face and the counterpart to Johnny Depp’s pirate.  She shows heart and depth, not to mention an extraordinary singing voice!  And who knew Maroon 5’s Adam Levine had acting talent as well as exceptional vocal chords.  Steinfeld has played the rebellious teen daughter in other recent films (“3 Days to Kill), but this film is the calibre that suits her best.  The remainder of the cast perfectly augments  Dan and Gretta so there is absolutely no dischord in the harmony of this film.  That phrase brings me to the music.  Wow!  Rarely am I truly pulled in to feel the music in a film. With each and every original song, there is pure emotional delight.  Using songs from many generations, songs such as Dooley Wilson’s “As Time Goes By” and Frank Sinatra’s “Luck Be A Lady Tonight,” among many others, NYC was painted in a beautiful light.  You will absolultely lose yourself in every song, original and familiar.

“Begin Again” is a winner on all fronts.  The writing and directing of an initially non-linear story, is beautifully poetic and lyrical.  When you combine stunning original music, NYC as a backdrop, and an engaging and complex story, the film not only stands out, it enthralls you.  It’s a different kind of love story; it’s a love of life, relationships, and learning from our past mistakes.  It’s the best kind of love story.  levine

This film is suited for all ages (older teens and on up) and both genders.  It will definitely appeal to music lovers and make music lovers out of the rest of us.  This is the first film I didn’t want to end.  It could have been a 3 hour movie and I’d have been happy.  It’s also a film whose soundtrack I will be purchasing.  Maybe for a buck.  See the movie and you’ll understand that last sentence!

 

9 Reels