Freeview film of the day: Begin Again

Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo make beautiful music together

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Begin Again ★★★★
PREMIERE 10.00-11.40pm BBC2 

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After his world-beating, low-budget Irish busking romance Once, which won the best song Oscar, writer/director John Carney took a risk relocating the magic from Dublin to New York for another song-driven relationship drama with one foot in the biz. It still charms, as Mark Ruffalo’s ruffled has-been A&R man invests everything in the talents of Keira Knightley’s English singer/songwriter, whose more successful ex (Maroon 5’s Adam Levine) commercialises a love song she once wrote for him, much to her chagrin. Knightley is not a natural songbird and Levine is no actor, but both give Carney naturalistic turns and the result is sweet and – considering its rock ’n’ roll setting – chaste. It’s an irresistible hymn to Greenwich Village, too. We’ll gloss over the unchivalrous comments Carney later made about Knightley’s acting. His most recent release, Sing Street, sees the Dubliner back on home turf.


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