Now THIS is what a movie musical should be. And Keira Knightley sings!!! Really!!!!
“Once” creator John Carney does it again: creating a perfect pitch musical rom-com that both delights and surprises. Keira Knightley stars as an uncompromising indie singer-songwriter who’s been recently dumped by her longtime boyfriend who has become a superstar (played very effectively by first-time actor Adam Levine.) At her rock bottom, fate brings into her universe a washed-up record label exec (a spot-on Mark Ruffalo) who discovers her at an bar in New York City’s East Village. He’s not only been dumped by his wife (Catherine Keener, who makes every role look effortless) , he’s just been fired from the record label he co-founded.
This is not your typical love story. It doesn’t go where you expect. In fact, it’s mostly a love letter to music – the healing power of music. The songs are great and played out naturally in the course of the story. It’s also a love letter to the East Village. Very authentic.
The supporting players are all awesome: Oscar-nominated “True Grit” star Hailee Steinfeld plays Ruffalo’s daughter. Tony-award winning James Corden is absolutely lovable as Knightley’s busker/ bff. The artist formerly known as Mos Def , Yasiin Bey, is tremendous as the record labe; chief and Ceelo Green has fun in his film debut.
It’s also a look at a very changing music biz.
I have to say, this is one of my favorites of the year.