'Begin Again' Builds on the Magic of 'Once'
Begin Again is out in the U.K on July 11
Dublin-born filmmaker John Carney is clearly obsessed with music, and especially its power to heal the human soul. His 2006 debut film Once is a low-key romantic odyssey set on the streets of Dublin starring then-unknown musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.
They won an Oscar and a Grammy for the gorgeous main theme song Falling Slowly, then went on to win eight Tonys when Once was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2012.
Following that was never going to be easy, so Carney stuck closely to the formula, expanding it with a broader plot, a New York setting and a much starrier cast for Begin Again.
The film stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld amd James Corden, and once again uses music as a healing balm for two troubled central characters. After launching its run at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival, Begin Again opened in America in June and expands around the world in July. It's already certified "fresh" at Rotten Tomatoes with a 77 percent approval rating from critics.
For his next project, Carney is returning to his hometown to collaborate with U2's Bono and The Edge on a drama called Sling Street, which will be about the Dublin music scene during the 1980s recession. He has already held open auditions to cast unknown teen actor-musicians in the central roles.