Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Hat-tip to Dom over at Bettnet for posting his own review of this film. It forced me to create my own post which I had intended to do last week. So, my review is down below.

(Hey, Ang!...... yeah, you...... this is a perfect movie for you to rent.)
I must say that I have been affected by a hauntingly beautiful little independent film entitled, "Once". It's a very small budget film set in Dublin about a busker (that's Irish/English for "street musician") who has a chance meeting with a young woman who is also a musician. We end up following their lives and the burgeoning relationship between them through the course of a week.

The movie is presented in an atypical musical fashion in that though there is singing and performing throughout the movie, the characters do not break out into song like Judy Garland singing "Over the Rainbow" in "The Wizard of Oz". Instead, the music (all original and written for the film) is used as a story catalyst and as a window into the hearts and souls of these two people, revealing to each other (and to the audience) the details of their past relationships. And as they form a bond between them they eventually head into a recording studio to record some of their inspired songs.

The two actors (who are both really musicians who just happen to be able to act) are relative novices to acting. The music is simple, yet soulful and heart-wrenching. Glen Hansard (the male lead) is the lead singer of the irish band "The Frames" (and whose only other acting role was in the film "The Commitments") and his music is captivating. Marketa Irgolva (the female lead) had never acted before this film. She brings not only her classically trained piano playing, but also beautiful vocal harmonies and an equally soulful acting performance.

I highly recommend renting (if not buying) the DVD. Also, pick up the soundtrack (make sure to get the "Collector's Edition" version of the CD which includes a couple extra tunes plus a "Making of..." DVD). If you go to the official website there is streaming audio of the soundtrack as well as quite a few short videos on the film, the actors/musicians, and the making of the movie.

You will not be disappointed.

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