Toronto Review: Can a Song Save Your Life?

Rejoice for all the lovers lost and rediscover your life through the world of music. Light up the dark with Keira Knightley, James Corden and Mark Ruffalo, as they take to their new sensation to the screening rooms of the Toronto Film Festival and as they deliver the musical performances of their careers.

The film focuses on Dan a depressed acoustic music loving, music business, talent scout in New York City as his life falls quickly apart, with his distaste for modern teen music, he prepares himself for his last night as he plans on heading to the nearest bridge and jumping straight off. Until he discovers, whilst sipping down his last pint, the talent of Greta played by Keira Knightley a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan. Dan instantly sees an opportunity to get back his job from the record label that he was that morning unceremoniously fired, despite being the co-founder, he attempts to whisk her into the life of becoming a commercial musician.

Although after Greta’s recently failed relationship with a recently newly discovered, now famed musician she declines Dan’s offer countless times, until he finally manages to convince her to allow him to demo her music to his label’s co-founder. After failing to get Greta signed, Dan convinces her to record the worlds first outside gorilla recorded album – mixing the sound of the city’s sirens, trash haulers and daily sounds with Greta’s amazing songs and lyrics. Taking to the streets of New York to record the worlds first outdoor album they encounter a variety of hilarious situations and create amazing music with a little help from Dan’s previous success, the world renowned musician CeeLo Green who naturally portrays himself.

Despite creating only six features since his beginnings in the film industry in 1996, director and writer John Carney has managed with Can A Song Save Your Life to capture the New York independent music scene in all it magnificence in the most hilarious a way, with an entirely new directing and story style.

The cast including Keira Knightley, James Corden and Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, and Adam Levine provide the film with a profound sense of unmatched passion for music that just leads the audience to keep watching as the authentic tale unfolds.

The picture was a colossal crowd pleaser as it debut at the Toronto Film Festival catching the eye of critics, festival goers and buyers alike and with its phenomenal original soundtrack it is sure to take audiences singing down the sidewalks. The entire leading cast and crew appeared to support their newly found musical feature in Toronto making it one of the centerpieces of the festival. Within the first half of the festival the film had several bidders for distribution rights although it today went to The Weinstein Company, setting the benchmark as one of the best deals of the festival.

The feel-good Can A Song Save Your Life? is certainly a contender for the upcoming awards season, especially in the original song or score categories and to make it eligible The Academy Awards it will have to be released before the year end submission deadline so we could see the film take to theaters sooner than originally thought. Although, with Weinstein Co’s numerous features already taking to the awards trail the picture could be sighting a mid 2014 release date, which would however qualify the musical for the 2014-15 awards season assuming it can continue it momentum as the year and festivals progress.

Can a Song Save Your Life? is in a league of its own and should definitely be at the top of every critics watch list.


About the Author


James Rush is the Founding, News & Chief Editor of TFM.


Posted in Festivals, Movies, Reviews, Toronto Film Festival, Toronto Reviews 2013