[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Andrew Kendall on "Begin Again"]
Can A Song Save Your Life?
UPDATE: Now Retitled "Begin Again"
Gretta is a would-be singer-songwriter whose boyfriend ends their long term relationship leaving her to find hopes of fame and success with down-on-his-luck record producer Dan.
John Carney is the man at helm and he's worked on the music alongside his Once collaborator, Glenn Hansard. The starry cast includes Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Cee-Lo Green, Mos Def, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener and James Corden.
Why We Can't Wait
Well, can a song save your life? Or, in my case, can a single actor make a movie? I ask, because even before I'd heard specific details about the plot I was already on board just for Keira Knightley. It's the film’s immediate selling point for me. Keira, my favourite Elizabeth Bennett, and her expressive jaw are not much loved on the internet, but out of all working performers under 30 she's the one most likely to get me into a theatre with no questions asked. It’s more than just a biased appreciation. A cursory glance over her last seven films (excusing Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) would dispel the claims of the monotony of her filmography. Film after film, Keira is constantly testing the boundaries of her abilities by playing dynamic characters in atypical if not always successful films. And what better way to test the gamut of your talents than by starring a musical?
That's the second immediate selling point: this is a musical! Perhaps when more musicals get made per year I’ll start being less excited each time one is released. But, as it stands, they are all too rare in the non-Bollywood world so a new one fills with me with excitement even if the possibility of disappointment is high. The plot itself is familiar, but innovativeness is not a requisite for goodness. Plus, this isn't just a musical; it's a contemporary musical, brought to us by the team that made one of the best original musicals of recent years in 2007's Once. I'm sold!
Can it actually save my life? Unlikely. But, I’m very excited to watch its creators and cast try.
But We Do Have to Wait
The gentle enthusiasm for Can A Song Save Your Life? became unbridled excitement after positive words out of TIFF last year, where some of you might have already seen it. The Weinstein Company acquired the U.S. rights for the film in Toronto, although no release date has been set. Will they go for a summer release to cultivate a sleeper hit? A prestige fall release as a maybe-maybe-not awards contender? Or will it get lost in the December glut?