This week has definitely emptied me out. And when my evening plans didn’t come through the way I wanted, I found a showing of a movie I’ve wanted to see “Begin Again,” with Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley. I knew very little, that both of them were down-on-their-luck musicians whose encounter with each other inspired each other.
It was lovely. They start with the first time they see each other, and then you get Mark’s character’s back-story, in the form of his day to that point, you see their encounter again, plus the first few hours of their acquaintance, and then you get Keira’s back-story— more extensive— the story of her time in the U.S. to that point— a month or so. In their back-stories, you get both of their romantic stories— Mark’s separated from his wife (played by Catherine Keener) and their teenaged daughter, Hailee Steinfeld (looking strangely age-appropriate— she always strikes me as wildly beyond her years.) Keira is more recently on the rocks from her 5-year relationship with Adam Levine, playing a pop artist who’s breaking on the scene. And then you get their collaboration.
I don’t want to spoil it— if you think it sounds interesting, I encourage you to see it. A few things worked for me— I kind of can’t stand Adam Levine, and the film didn’t try to talk me out of that impression. I love female singer-songwriters, like the one Keira plays. I’m thinking a lot about music and its role in my life and new beginnings, so it’s speaking to me.
I’m not sure I agree with the overall point that it makes about art within a system, but I’ll say that I love the purity of their vision. It made me come home hungry to pull out my guitar and move forward with it. It made me come home hungry to write this and a few other posts. It got me all itchy about a painting that has spent 9 months or so three-quarters finished. That’s a sign that it filled up my cup, because less than 12 hours ago, I could barely convince myself that it was worth it to get up and do the things I had planned for the day. I’m calling that worth the $10.25 I paid to see the movie.