“Begin Again,” starring Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo, will close the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 26. The movie also features Hailee Steinfeld and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine.
The dramedy is by writer-director John Carney, best known for the romantic comedy “Once,” that went on to become a Tony Award-winning musical. “Begin Again” — which is also the title of a 2012 song by Taylor Swift – has a similar theme to “Once,” in that it’s about two lost souls who meet and create beautiful music together.
Knightly plays a singer whose longtime boyfriend has left her for a deal with a major record company and who she learns has begun to stray. While she’s performing in an East Village club, she meets a disgraced record-label executive (Ruffalo), who is captivated by her raw talent. The two change each other’s lives, for the better.
Several years ago, she told me at a press junket for “Anna Karenina” that it was time to do something lighter.
“I’d done five years of films where either I died or something horrific had happened in all of them. I wanted to spend a year not dying and trying to do things that were very positive,” she said. She described “Begin Again,” which formerly was called “Can a Song Save Your Life?” as an “incredibly positive, hopeful piece about friendship and making an album and possibilities.”
The Weinstein Company will release “Begin Again” (originally titled “Can a Song Save Your Life?”) in theaters on July 4, 2014. Here’s a Q&A at the Toronto Film Festival with John Carney and producer Anthony Bregman.