Music Break: Beyond the Lights & Begin Again

This past week I saw two wonderful music-themed films and the soundtracks have been playing in my head since. So I figure why not feature both of them in one post since I’m planning to post a double review of them later in the week.

Both films feature a female protagonist and both stories offer interesting commentaries on the music industries from two VERY different spectrum. So take a listen at my favorite tracks from both films …

BeyondtheLightsPosterThis one is my absolute favorite… it’s emotive and stirring, especially when it’s sung by Gugu Mbatha-Raw‘s Noni towards the end of the film. It’s a defiant song that becomes the unofficial anthem for her at a pivotal point in her life. I love love the melody of the song and the beautiful arrangement by Mark Isham, it’s perhaps one of my favorite songs of the year so far. I was already so impressed by Gugu in Belle, but she totally blew me away here. Her transformation into a pop-star persona is incredible, and she clearly has the vocal chops to actually be a recording artist for real!

This second one is pleasant but more familiar, perhaps because it’s written by Diane Warren, who’s responsible for so many movies’ romantic ballads. It’s performed by Rita Ora.


I knew there’ll be some awesome music featured in this one, as Margaret already featured them in her Soundtrack Wednesday post. I still want to feature ’em again here, especially the two soulful ones sung by Keira Knightley. I had no idea she could sing so well and with such raw emotion. I LOVE this scene when Mark Ruffalo‘s character first saw her singing in a bar and his reaction to her singing is so endearing.

I had to include this awesome video posted by Interscope Records. It’s a cute & poignant scene featuring Keira and James Corden as they record a song together as a voice mail message. The melody is wonderful but the lyrics are so moving and really, who can’t relate to a broken heart? We’ve all been there, if only I knew how to turn my feelings into such beautiful music!

Hope you enjoyed the music break! Have you seen either one of these films?

21 thoughts on “Music Break: Beyond the Lights & Begin Again

  1. Actually just saw Begin Again this weekend myself. I loved that scene where Ruffalo was adding all the rest of the music in his head! Some nice tunes to be heard in this one. Good stuff here, Ruth. 🙂

  2. I loved loved loved Mark’s reaction to Keira singing that, but I’m absolutely in love with his character from the movie 🙂 He was just so passionate and joyful about the music. I wasn’t that impressed with Keira’s singing but I really liked the song they had with children doing the choir and the other one with Hailee’s guitar solo

    1. Hi Sati! Mark’s reaction is so cute, I love how the film show two different versions of the same encounter. Y’know, I actually like the fact that Keira’s voice is not perfect, it kind of make the rendition more soulful. I think she’s more of a raw talent, not exactly pitch perfect, and that’s what appeals to Mark’s character. I like the more rockin’ songs w/ the group but I love the emotional quality of this first one that she sang.

  3. Tom

    I’ve only seen Begin Again, but I absolutely loved it. Actually have been listening to a few tracks just now, as it so happens. Can’t stop listening to Coming up Roses and Tell me If you wanna Go Home. Such a killer soundtrack.

  4. I heard so many good things about Beyond the Lights but I haven’t heard the music. Begin Again is something I’m not sure I want to see. Only because of my personal loathing towards Adam Levine.

    1. Mwahaha! I can’t stand Adam Levine either, Steven. Good thing I forgot he’s in this when I played it. His beard is awful too, but thankfully he’s not on for very long here. Still worth a watch for Keira & Mark!

  5. Ted S.

    I don’t I’ve heard of any of these two movies before, probably because they’re not the genre I tend to watch, haha. Didn’t know Kiera could sing either!

    1. Yeah I know you’d rather see Interstellar again 😉 I love both of these, seems that the lower-budget stuff have hit the mark for me generally.

      1. Ted S.

        Oh yeah, I’m seeing Interstellar again this weekend. Might be the last film that will be shown on FILM so I want to experience it as much as possible.

        I don’t have anything against smaller budget movies but lately too many of them are just too self important, I think I got burned by seeing too many bad indie flicks at Sundance and Tribeca when I used to attend those festivals. Now that I’m older I don’t want to waste my time with them. Of course there are some gems like Mud and Blue Ruin.

  6. Ruth, I always appreciate the music breaks! Yay for Keira for trying new things. No, she isn’t a great singer and the ballad has a child-like, full of heart and sensitivity that I liked a lot. I’ve only heard good things about this movie. Looking forward to watching it.

    1. Hi Cindy! Glad to hear. Nice seeing Keira branching out in less glamorous roles. Yep exactly, her performance is soulful and that’s what make me like the song. I think her character’s raw talent is what attracted Ruffalo’s character.

      What do you think about Beyond the Lights? I feel that not many people know about that film so I want to drum up attention to it as it’s worth seeing and well-acted.

  7. Yay! So glad you got to see Begin Again, Ruth! Totally looking forward to your review on that one. I absolutely loved the music from the film, and I ended up buying most of the soundtrack on iTunes. Those two songs you included were my favorite, along with the version Adam Levine sings at the concert near the end of the movie.

    As for Beyond the Lights, I don’t know much about it! But I’m totally digging the songs you included in this post. I’m adding them to my Spotify list pronto! 😀

    1. Hello there Kris! My review of Begin Again is up now. It’s a double review w/ Beyond the Lights that I also highly recommend. I’m actually not fond of Levine’s voice but the songs here are lovely.

      I really hope you’d give Beyond the Lights a shot, then you’ll know why I LOVE Gugu Mbatha-Raw!

      1. Ooo, looking forward to checking that out! Ahh, well I get that. Levine’s voice isn’t for everyone, haha. I would love to give Beyond the Lights a shot – I don’t think I had even heard of it up until your post!

  8. Pingback: FlixChatter Double Reviews: Beyond the Lights & Begin Again |

  9. LOVE the songs in both films as well, and I agree 100% on Mbatha-Raw’s performance. She was good in Belle, but she was excellent in Beyond the Lights. Fingers crossed that both films get some award attention in the coming weeks.

  10. Pingback: Movies coming to Netflix in June – here are the ones I recommend & look forward to |

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