Sep 2, 2007


Once is a film of immense charm and great heart. It is not going to rewrite the history of film, but if you do choose to see it you will be most assuredly entertained and delighted for 90 minutes. A simple construct, we meet two unnamed leads on the streets of Dublin. Guy (Frames' singer Glen Hansard) is busking, playing other peoples' tunes during the day to earn a dollar, his own heartfelt songs during the night. Songs that he hopes one day to record and chase his dreams of making a career of it. Girl (Marketa Irglova) is a Czech immigrant who has a young daughter and makes ends meet by selling flowers. We find out that she too has musical talents, releasing her passion by playing music in a musical instrument store. We follow their story through the film. Guy has recently exited a long standing relationship and becomes smitten by the girl he has just met. She on the other hand is not looking for a relationship, but gives him a greater gift. The gift of encouragement and confidence. Together they combine their musical talents which not only bonds them, but focuses and develops their potential.

Cillian Murphy was originally going to play the lead, but after pulling out (along with the budget), the film was made for a mere $160,000. Hansard, who was only going to provide the songs for the film, was pushed into the starring role and despite his inexperience does a sterling job. His personality and fierce intelligence overcome any lack of acting experience. Irglova, a debutante as well, also shines in her role, showing tenderness and charm in a promising introduction. The film was made in only 17 days and was mainly shot using natural light. It won't win any cinematography awards, but the strength of the film is its big heart and delectable charm. Music is also featured heavily and most of the tunes are penned by Hansard. Most are pleasant and sweet with "Falling Slowly" being the song that stands out the most. This film, at its simplest, is an unconventional love story that will warm your heart and make you smile. Plus the ending is sweet and endearing, without thankfully veering into sentimentality.


  • At September 03, 2007 , Anonymous Sean said...

    It really is a great little movie. We saw it on the weekend and despite all the high expectations I didn't leave the tiniest bit disappointed.


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