Song One is a simple romantic-drama that, albeit not wholly satisfying like Once or Begin Again, still features solid performances by Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn and Mary Steenburgen. The DVD released by Cinedigm offers good video and audio transfer while the bonus material is disappointing with no commentary or even making-of featurette.
Genre(s): Drama, Music
Cinedigm | PG13 – 88 min. – $14.93 | March 24, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
Plot Outline: After Franny’s (ANNE HATHAWAY) musician brother Henry (BEN ROSENFIELD) is injured and hospitalized in a coma following a car accident, Franny returns home after a long estrangement and begins to use his notebook as a guide to how his life has evolved in her absence. Franny seeks out the musicians and artists Henry loved and in the course of her journey she meets James Forester (JOHNNY FLYNN), his musical idol, whose success and fame belie a shy and private man. As a strong romantic connection develops between Franny and James, the question becomes if love and bloom even under the most adverse circumstances.
Quick Hit Review: I wasn’t sure about Song One but having (relatively) recently enjoying the Keira Knightley/Mark Ruffalo music/drama Begin Again, I had hopes this would rise to the same levels both in story and music; unfortunately while the performances in this are admirable, the music doesn’t quite do it for me as, for the most part, they come across as generic indie songs despite having composers/songwriters Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice behind them.
Not overly surprising, but Anne Hathaway does turn in a fine, emotionally-charged performance and considering she doesn’t get much to work off of, given the simple story, she does really well and even Johnny Flynn isn’t bad opposite her. But save for the acting nothing else about this really sticks out. It isn’t nearly as bad as some say it is, nor is it particularly boring, and yet unlike Begin Again or, as some compare this to, Once, it doesn’t have any lasting effect either.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
Behind the Scenes Recording the Soundtrack (16:02) looks at compiling the variety of indie music featured in the film in a fly-on-the-wall style.
Deleted Scenes (4:17) – We get a few scenes that didn’t make it into the final cut for one reason or another, though there is one featuring Fred Armisen of “Portlandia” and “Saturday Night Live.”
Theatrical Trailer (1:47)
VIDEO – 4.0/5 | AUDIO – 3.75/5
Song One takes stage presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and for the most part, looks perfectly suitable for standard-def while the Dolby Digital 5.1 track isn’t the strongest yet the music comes through well enough and dialogue levels are clear enough.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Song One is a simple romantic-drama that, albeit not wholly satisfying like Once or Begin Again, still features solid performances by Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn and Mary Steenburgen. The DVD released by Cinedigm offers good video and audio transfer while the bonus material is disappointing with no commentary or even making-of featurette.