Movie Review: Anne Hathaway takes a musical tour of a gentrified Brooklyn in Song One

Not enough happens in Song One for the movie to really qualify as unpredictable, but it deserves credit for a steadfast avoidance of melodrama in a story that practically begs for it. For example: The film opens with an accident that puts aspiring musician Henry (Ben Rosenfield) in a coma, bringing his semi-estranged sister Franny (Anne Hathaway) back to New York City from her Ph.D. work overseas. Almost immediately, the movie establishes Franny’s reunion with her mother (Mary Steenburgen) and unconscious brother as both sad and frustrating, replete with a lot of waiting around and hoping for the best.

Restless from the routine of a hospital vigil, Franny obeys her anthropologist instincts and starts researching her college-dropout brother’s life. Working from the kind of impressionistic sketchbook/scrapbook/diary hybrid so often kept by sensitive young artists in movies, she visits places Henry likes, listens to songs he …

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