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Why Weinstein Is Re-Releasing Summer Hit 'Begin Again': The Best Song Oscar (CLIPS)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 25, 2014 at 1:47PM

The Weinstein Company, which is looking at a lean Oscar season this year--unless they add some late-breaking contenders--announced today the re-release of their summer hit "Begin Again" ($14.5 million domestic). The movie heads back to theaters nationwide starting Friday, August 29th. Written and directed by John Carney and starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine (making his film acting debut), scene-stealer and future talk show host James Corden and Catherine Keener, "Begin Again" looks to follow in the footsteps of "Once," which won the Best Song Oscar for “Falling Slowly” in 2007.
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'Begin Again'
'Begin Again'
Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
The Weinstein Company, which is looking at a lean Oscar season this year--unless they add some late-breaking contenders--announced today the re-release of their summer hit "Begin Again" ($14.5 million domestic). The movie heads back to theaters nationwide starting Friday, August 29th. Written and directed by John Carney and starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine (making his film acting debut), scene-stealer and future talk show host James Corden and Catherine Keener, "Begin Again" looks to follow in the footsteps of "Once," which won the Best Song Oscar for “Falling Slowly” in 2007.
 
Carney again has crafted a genuine and organic romance with music that is thankfully not about bringing the two leads together as lovers. Songwriter Gretta (Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) are splitting up as he becomes a superstar. When she performs in a music club, Dan, a jaded and depressed veteran record exec (Mark Ruffalo), hears her sing and imagines how he could make her sound. They decide to make an album together recording her songs live in the city, pulling in assistance from his estranged wife (Catherine Keener) and teenage daughter (Hailee Steinfeld).

 
As strong and popular as the movie is, it's not an obvious Oscar contender except for the music; that's what the Weinsteins will end up pushing with the Academy music branch. They already released "The Voice" star Adam Levine‘s video for the Greg Alexander song, “Lost Stars," below. Knightley also sings her own version on the soundtrack as well as "Like a Fool" and "Tell Me If You Want to Go Home," below. 

The movie is produced and financed by Exclusive Media and produced by Anthony Bregman, Tobin Armbrust and Judd Apatow.


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.