What it's about:
Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives.
What we thought:
Last year Oscar winner Anne Hathaway returned to the big screen in the big blockbuster Interstellar, and then this indie folk music film, Song One. I suppose Anne wanted to mix things up a bit.
Anne plays Franny, an anthropology student currently working on her PhD in Morocco. She is summoned home when her younger brother Henry (Ben Rosenfield), an aspiring musician, is in a car accident which leaves him in a coma. A big fight between the siblings has estranged Franny from both her brother and mother Karen (Mary Steenburgen).
Racked by guilt Franny goes on a quest to get to know her brother, she reads his journal and visits the places he frequented and finally listens to the songs he has been passing along to her. She does everything to try to bring Henry 'back to life'.
She tracks down his favourite musician, a one album wonder folk singer, James Forrester (Johnny Flynn) and gives him one of Henry’s demos. The pair strike up a friendship which quickly turns romantic.
And that’s about all that happens. Honestly it’s a bit of a drag.
Poor Anne gets such a lot of flack, I really tried very hard to find something in her performance to like but it was difficult. This was Anne just playing a character, there was really no connection.
Much of this film focuses on the romantic relationship between Franny and James, but there was honestly no chemistry between the two, it was a bit awkward.
Johnny Flynn, who is a real life musician, did exceptional in the singing parts but his acting just didn’t hit the right notes.
And then the music.
The folk music scene isn’t really my thing but I can appreciate a good song, a good melody and meaningful lyrics. That said there were just too many glum songs. I did enjoy the parts where they made up silly little songs that was fun and the last song he performed, Silver Song .
If you’re into folk music and vintage feel films you’ll probably enjoy this one.
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