Tag Archives: Hailee Steinfeld

Begin Again Review

There is an old saying: when one door closes, another opens.

Begin Again is about new beginnings and unexpected possibilities.

Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a disgraced record music executive going through a mid life crisis. He has been fired from the label he started, his relationship with his wife Miriam (Catherine Keener) and his daughter, Violet (Hailee Steinfeld) has been going down hill for years. Greta (Keira Knightley) has been with her boyfriend, Dave (Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine) for 5 years. Both singer-songwriters, Dave has been given a record deal and takes advantage of all the opportunities he has with his record deal. But with the record deal, comes the temptations and the loss of relationships, including his relationship with Greta. Greta has been friends with Steve (James Corden). He offers her a place to stay after her break up and encourages her to sing at an open mic night. Drowning his sorrows in whisky, Dan has a vision of Greta’s song played with a full band.

I enjoyed this movie. Breaking from the BBC, dark, period drama type of roles, Knightley’s Greta is on a journey from heartbreak to  triumph; her singing voice is good. Ruffalo’s Dan is on a parallel journey. Levine, in his screen debut, is surprisingly good. I love that this movie was shot completely in New York City, providing a realistic backdrop.

I recommend this movie.

 

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A Romeo And Juliet Review- This Rose Does Not Smell As Sweet

I heard once that when writing a script, whether is for stage or screen, the single key to the project’s success or failure success or failure is the script.

William Shakespeare, in all of the years that he wrote and with all of the plays he wrote, never wrote a bad play.  Romeo and Juliet is one of his most famous works.  It has been adapted countless times over the years and has been a staple of an English teachers curriculum for generations.

Anyone who had read my blog knows that Downton Abbey is one of my favorite television. As far as  I am concerned, Julian Fellows can do no wrong as a  TV writer (though some of the story lines in season 2 are a bit questionable, which is another topic for another time).  That being said, and please pardon my French, Julian Fellows, what the f*ck did you do to Romeo and Juliet?

I cannot blame the cast. Romeo (Douglas Booth) and Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld) are both age appropriate and have reasonable chemistry, in addition to having the proper amount of romantic teenage angst.  Ed Westwick, as Tybalt plays his part very well.  Juliet’s parents, Lord Capulet (Damien Lewis) and Lady Capulet (Natascha  McElhone) are well played, along with the rest of the cast.

The problem, itself, is in the screen play. Some scenes are missing and some have been added.  The fact that it was filmed on location in Verona does provide a sense of reality.  It was a valiant effort on the part of the filmmakers, but unfortunately, the movie fell short of my expectations.

The next time I want to see Romeo and Juliet, I will either watch the 1968 movie or the 1996 movie.

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Filed under Movie Review, Reviews, William Shakespeare