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Lovely chemistry between Knightley, Ruffalo “Begin” celebrates power of music

LOS ANGELES, July 5, (Agencies): زBegin Againس sees Irish writer-director John Carney on a larger canvas, revisiting themes from his lo-fi 2006 indie hit زOnceس ر chief among them the emotional connectivity of music. Swapping Dublin for New York, and trading a single couple for a group of people all trying to mend broken bonds or forge new ones, the touching film again trades in uncynical heart-on-its-sleeve sentiment, and deploys a series of gentle ballads, a number of them performed by star Keira Knightley.

With زBegin Again,س Carney demonstrates that the disarming emotional candor and intimacy of the earlier film were no fluke. He is a wholesale believer in the healing power of music.

Knightley plays Greta, a Brit hauled up onstage in a bar to do one of her songs at an open mic night by her busker friend from home, Steve (James Corden). The melancholy number doesn”t exactly wow the crowd, with the exception of enraptured drunk music industry A&R veteran Dan Mulligan (Mark Ruffalo). The film then rewinds twice to approach the same scene from different perspectives, revealing the day from hell that pushed Dan to drown his sorrows and the series of events that left Greta miserable in Manhattan.

Rapport

Separated from his music journo wife Miriam (Catherine Keener), Dan struggles to maintain a rapport with their petulant teenage daughter, Violet (Hailee Steinfeld). He”s out of touch with how the music biz works in the digital age, and hasn”t brought in a bankable new act in years, causing him to be kicked to the curb by Saul (Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def), the money side of the indie record label he founded.

Greta came to New York a few months back with her songwriting partner and boyfriend of five years, Dave Kohl (Adam Levine). As his success spiraled after one of his songs was featured in a hit movie, Greta was cheated on and left behind.

In a scene that appears influenced by the progressive layering of instruments over an acoustic foundation in the lush orchestrations of زOnceس onstage, Dan hears and sees the potential for enhancement in Greta”s song. Carney appears to be playing with expectations by setting up a زStar is Bornس scenario, but thankfully goes in another direction.

Despite her ambivalence to the proposal of cutting a demo with him or anyone, and her eagerness to flee back to England, Greta sticks around. When Saul passes on funding the project, Dan hatches a plan to make an ambient-sound album recorded all over the city.

Most of the songs are by New Radicals frontman Gregg Alexander, and their delicacy suits the tone of the movie. Cinematographer Yaron Orbach”s visuals convey a sense of intoxication with New York City that”s enhanced by sharing the high of making music ر in alleyways, on rooftops, in parks and on subway platforms.

Incorporating some degree of cast improvisation, Carney”s screenplay is not exactly robust, and the film feels slightly padded with mini montages. But there”s a nice ambling quality to the story as Dan cleans up his act and gets closer to his family, Dave returns from the road eager to patch things up with Greta, and she and Dan circle each other with undeclared attraction. The film”s quiet pleasures creep up on you.

Lovely chemistry between Knightley and Ruffalo enriches their many scenes together, while Ruffalo and Keener share different sparks that suggest the deep residual affections of an 18-year marriage. In his first film role, Levine keeps the tattoo sleeve covered but shows the clueless ways in which Dave”s fledgling rock star ego is an obstacle to him being reconciled with Greta.

زBegin Again,س a Weinstein release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America زfor language.س Running time: 104 minutes.

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LOS ANGELES: It”s been said that there are no small parts, only small actors. But sometimes those small actors can create some pretty big legal headaches.

The Weinstein Company has been hit with a lawsuit by a man who claims he paid $100,000 for a bit part in زScary Movie 5,س only to be robbed of his moment in the spotlight.

In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Michael Trigg claims that he agreed to pay $100,000 to the website Charitybuzz in exchange for a speaking role consisting of زa few linesس in the film زScary Movie 5,س in addition to a one-on-one meeting with Harvey Weinstein. The money, according to Trigg, would go to the La Jolla Playhouse.

However, Trigg claims, the agreement quickly fell apart. When he received the portion of the script containing his part ر the presumably much-sought role of زFedEx Guyس ر the role had a single word, زPackage.س And an agreement sent to Trigg to sign noted that the part was not guaranteed to make the final cut of the movie.

Eventually, the lawsuit says, Trigg negotiated with Charitybuzz that he would receive a $40,000 refund if his part was cut from the film, and he received an assurance that his part would be زat least a full sentence in length.س

Despite that, the lawsuit claims, the trouble kept on coming. Trigg says that, after paying for his flight and accommodations for the shoot, he was told that the shooting schedule had changed, forcing him to cancel his trip زat significant cost to himself.س Trigg claims that he was promised reimbursement for the canceled trip, but never received any.

On top of that, the lawsuit claims, Trigg was told that his part would now be included in a different movie altogether, زDemonic.س Trigg suddenly found himself transformed from زFedEx Guyس to زCop With Dog,س and at the shoot the director told him to just زnod his headس in response to another character”s line.

After Trigg told the director that he had been promised a speaking role, he was told that he could utter زHey, Detectiveس to another character in the scene.

Trigg زwas very uncomfortable and embarrassed that the Director had not already been informed of the contractual commitment to Trigg and, as a result Trigg was not getting what he contracted for and was put in the awkward position of having to assert his contract rights as filming was about to begin and many people (cast, crew, etc.) were standing by to shoot the scene,س the lawsuit reads.

In addition to The Weinstein Company, Trigg is suing Charitybuzz and the La Jolla Playhouse.

The Weinstein Company has not yet responded to TheWrap”s request for comment.

Alleging breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and other counts, Trigg is seeking unspecified damages.

 

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