Archives for posts with tag: Keira Knightley

Most romances set in wartime England are so tortured, they’re gag-worthy. “Atonement” (2007) takes this conceit to another level, becoming so blessedly, agonizingly depressing as to make you want to jump off the white cliffs of Dover. Or should I say takes it to new depths (depths deeper than a grave and ultimately just as morbid)? A little girl’s lie sets off a chain reaction that triggers so many spoiler alerts, I don’t know how much more I can say about this film, other than that the Oscar-winning score is excellent. Based on a novel. Better to read than watch.

Two thirds of the way through “Collateral Beauty” (2016) I was starting to wear down. The story, about a man (not) coping with his daughter’s death, was work. But I hung in there. This deep dive of a film let me up enough to see the surface, even if I couldn’t take a breath just yet. I thought I had the plot twist figured out. I was (almost) right. I didn’t go away happy, but at least I wasn’t sad. This kind of film is OK, once in a while. The cinematic world can’t be all superheroes and fart jokes.

I thought “Begin Again” (2014) was going to be a romantic comedy that takes place in the music industry. I also thought it might be a dud. Wrong and wrong. There’s romance and comedy, and much more music than I thought, but this film defies convention. It’s almost like a boxing movie, but with the music industry substituting for boxing. Mark Ruffalo is a washed-up former champ who gets his groove back thanks to the inspiration of an up-and-coming bantamweight played by Keira Knightley. There’s lots of familiar faces (Catherine Keener, Mos Def, Adam Levine, Hailee Steinfeld, etc.). Nicely done.