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'Begin Again' featurette: Keira Knightley on singing a happier tune -- EXCLUSIVE

Keira Knightley humbly insists she’s not a singer, but John Carney — the former bassist for the Frames who went on to direct the beloved musical romance Once – would never have cast a lead actress in Begin Again who couldn’t carry a tune.

In the new musical, Knightley plays Gretta, a heartbroken Brit stranded in New York after her hipster musician boyfriend (Adam Levine) gets rich and famous and cheats on her. Running on empty, she funnels her despair into one last sad song, a beautifully sung elegy that enchants Mark Ruffalo’s Dan, a washed-up music exec on the brink of personal disaster. Together, they try to answer the question that doubled as the film’s title when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival: Can a song save your life?

In an exclusive featurette for the movie, which opens June 27 limited before expanding on July 11, Knightley explains why she needed a hopeful role like Gretta after five years of grim movies. The clip features the all-star cast — count ‘em, four Oscar nominees — but it’s the music that stands out most. Watch and listen below: READ FULL STORY

Toronto 2013: 'Can a Song Save Your Life?' shows that 'Once' is enough

In a culture that thrives on irony, detachment, the postmodern hum of advertising, and the communicative cool enforced by technology, good old sincerity — remember that golden oldie? — can seem not just out-of-date but a little embarrassing. Who wants to be caught saying what they mean and meaning what they say, or wearing their heart on their earnest, pleading sleeve? John Carney does. He’s the Irish-born writer-director of Can a Song Save Your Life?, an unapologetically sincere movie that is modeled on the beautiful, almost desperate sincerity of the music-movie that put Carney on the map: Once, that lovely and enchanting 2007 pop bagatelle about two lost souls who connect through song, and who find a love so ethereal that it transcends even…love. At the time, Once felt like a one-of-a-kind movie, and I think it was, but Carney has other ideas. He’s out to make that gentle wistful lightning strike twice. READ FULL STORY

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