‘Begin Again’: When ‘Once’ isn’t enough

July 4, 2014 3:55 PM

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‘Begin Again’: When ‘Once’ isn’t enough

Back in 2006, the Irish writer-director John Carney made a little film called “Once” that rewrote the rules for movie musicals. It was a love story about working musicians, played by working musicians, and the songs welled up naturally in rehearsals, performances, and private moments in between. The thing felt authentic and new, and it rode a tide of audience affection to an Oscar for best song and a successful Broadway staging.

After eight years (and two films unreleased in the United States), Carney has returned with the aptly titled “Begin Again,” another tender-hearted drama set in the indie music world. Rather cruelly, it proves you can’t go home again, especially if you try. The movie seems willfully perverse, as thou...

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