In Song One, Anne Hathaway plays Franny, an academic whose research in North Africa is cut short by an emergency phone call from home: her younger brother Henry has been hit by a car and is in a coma.
Henry was an aspiring Brooklyn musician, a career development that had soured the siblings’ relationship. But as she and her mother (Mary Steenburgen) reconnect around his hospital bed, she also gains a greater appreciation for her brother’s commitment to music from the songs he left behind. She visits the clubs he frequented, and when the opportunity presents itself, she approaches her brother’s favorite singer, James Forrester (Johnny Flynn), with a recording of one of her brother’s songs.
Serene and guarded, James is suffering in his own way. A wave of early success has left him paralyzed creatively, but his connection with Franny and her family sparks a healing relationship for both of them.
Flynn was cast perfectly as James, a folksy musician from England who’s a star in Brooklyn’s hip rock-folk scene. Flynn has released four albums, including Country Mile in 2013, and he’d already performed in Brooklyn clubs like Pete’s Candy Store before ever being cast in Song One. “When I read the script, I was like, ‘Oh, in some ways, this is almost my experience of New York,'” says Flynn.
The film is written and directed by Kate Barker-Froyland, who met Hathaway on the set of The Devil Wears Prada, where she was director David Frankel’s assistant. Song One debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and is the first film Hathaway has produced with her husband, Adam Shulman. Film Arcade is releasing the film in theaters and on-demand on Jan. 23. READ FULL STORY