Thursday, February 05, 2015

Song One

When writing Next Week in Tickets a couple weeks ago, I half-jokingly speculated that the Indian-American owners of Apple Cinemas doesn't pay particularly close attention to the details of how a film is being released, so they didn't even realize that The Interview had been pulled or that things like Song One or Predestination are getting a same-day release on VOD , which is why those movies get booked there but not anywhere else in Boston. They see the names involved, mark it down, and are kind of surprised when something with Anne Hathaway barely makes a blip.

That's probably not the case; my other speculation is that their set-up and location - ten screens serving a relatively small neighborhood nestled pretty snugly between the Captiol and Somerville Theatres at the end of the Red Line means that they wind up turning movies over more quickly than anybody else in the area, and having a couple screens of Indian films will only do so much on that account.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad they do; $9.75 isn't significantly more expensive then a rental and you get to see it in a theater on a big screen with an audience. It's also important to note that I might not have noticed that it existed at all if not for seeing it pop up a list of the movies playing in the area.

Song One

* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 29 January 2015 in Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond #4 (first-run, DCP)

There are times when Song One starts to come across as a simple enough romance that its peculiar start fades into the background, and it's odd for that to feel like a good thing. The way the two parties meet doesn't work, and it's the whole foundation of the movie, but there are enough nice moments afterward that work regardless.

After all, it starts with a 19-hear-old musician (Ben Rosenfield), headphones blocking everything out, getting struck by a car. His sister Franny (Anne Hathaway), a graduate student doing research in Morocco, is called home by their mother (Mary Steenburgen), and while she does what she can to help draw him out of his coma, she decides to use the James Forester concert ticket she finds in his notebook. She talks to the musician (Johnny Flynn) afterward, telling him her comatose brother Henry is his biggest fan; he comes by the hospital. And so on.

That whole situation is weird, right? It's weird from Henry apparently only having interest in this one other musician, to Franny hanging around after the show to drop all this on him, to the next day when she asks James to meet her at a show after he shows up to see them at the hospital. Certainly, there are details that make it less off-putting than that sounds, but we don't know Franny well enough when she hits this folk musician with her brother's coma or when she figures a hospital visit is the right time to make a date for it to seem like something natural rather than writer/director Kate Barker-Froyland trying to force her movie's concept. Of course, it's supposed to be weird, but we don't see Franny wrestling with the awkwardness of it much.

Full review at EFC.

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