First Hit: Thoroughly enjoyed Keira Knightly’s role and character – she made this film work.
There are a number of scenes in this film in which Knightley shines, one is when she sings the first song in the alley way. Another is when she connects with Dan’s (Mark Ruffalo) daughter Violet (Hailee Steinfeld). There is an infectiousness light that exudes from her.
Basically, Gretta (Knightly) is in New York to support her singer boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine). She is also a songwriter and has penned and partially penned some of Dave’s hits. He gets caught up in being famous and cheats on Gretta. Dan, who is a down on his luck alcoholic record producer walks into a bar and hears her sing a song.
What I loved about this scene, and others in the film, is that the audience gets different views of the same scene, which show a different perspective – wonderful direction. Dan hears her song fully produced and even through his drunk state, you get this is a great song. Their relationship helps them both grow as people and in their professions. Another wonderful relationship in the film is Gretta’s with her old friend from London - Steve (James Cordon). He’s in New York trying to make a living with music and the way he openly reaches out to Gretta is beautiful.
I felt the direction; especially the use of seeing the same scenes from a different point of view was excellent. This technique wasn’t over used and added to the “setup” of the characters.
Knightly shines in this role and her singing was delicately very good. Ruffalo was good, and as the film progressed his engagement with making the music was really strong and I grew to care about his character – which was the point. Steinfeld in her limited role was very good. Cordon was very good in his supporting role. Levine was OK as the character and better when he sang. Mos Def as Ruffalo’s business partner was a great casting because he embodied the role he knows so well – producer. Ceelo Green as a friend of Dan’s was also a great casting because he brought an amusing yet sound viability of Dan’s role in the film. John Carney wrote and directed this film and some of his scenes were really wonderfully shot.
Overall: This was a really nice film to watch.