begin again

The essential ingredients in John Carney's films: music and heart -- see Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013)-- bubble up in
It's a cliché of the season to list award favorites, but it is also a thrill to be able to recommend so many good films.
Say whatever else you want to about 2014, here's one thing I know for sure. It had 365 days. And since new movies opened on screens across the USA on a great many of those days, I feel compelled to consider the year in films.
For the past few years, my year-end music column has focused almost exclusively on lists of singles, from which I've tried my darndest to mine rubies in a slew of digital slush. Looking back on 2014, I was surprised to realize how many albums I fell in love with.
Viewing the recent DVD releases Chef and Begin Again, some startling similarities challenge viewers to rethink what it means to cultivate professional satisfaction. Both films feature a male artist who seems past his prime and is struggling through a mid-life crisis.
When John Carney (Once) decided to make a follow-up film about three people trying to maintain passion and artistic integrity in the music business, there was just one ideal choice to write the songs.
Top image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics, used with permission. Nadine Labaki in a scene from her film Where Do We Go
And so, like Oscar, through a drug deal gone very bad, she enters the void and gets a glimpse past the vista afforded not
And there are Shake Shack burgers. The last time Hailee Steinfeld sat down with Jimmy Fallon, she mentioned that she was
"You get to talk and they listen," he said of the interview process. "You're not being interrupted or told you're an idiot