Once is the story of a broken-hearted Irish songwriter who has dreams of making music but is stuck on a street corner singing his heart out to oblivious pedestrians. That is, until he meets an eastern European immigrant who shares his love of music and gives him the confidence to follow his passion.

Writing it out like that makes it sound simplistic and cliche, but it really is a great little film.

It's obvious that there was no budget, but it actually helps with the "struggling to realize your dreams" feel of it all. And it's all about the story. One of my favorite scenes is when "Guy" is talking to his dad in the kitchen and playing the recordings for him for the first time. Their conversations is perfect. 

I also loved the way it ended. It brought a huge smile to my face. The music....the music is incredible...which I guess is the whole point. A soundtrack like that paired with the simple story of a guy meeting the right girl at the right time and going for it all stirs something within you that reminds you what life's all about.
Reviewed by: andy
9 Comment(s)
Shea said...
I still have and want to see this. It's sitting on my desk at home... I will have more to say soon because Flanigan has built this one up so much.

I could go on for ages and ages talking about this film. By far my favorite film of the last 2 or 3 years. This is one of only 2 or 3 movies I've ever seen that every time I finish watching it I just want to start it over again... and in fact have done that. This film is everything I've ever wanted out of music based film. I would make the argument that it is the best music based film in the past... um ever. I bought the soundtrack online before the dvd had left my player on the first go round.

I also loved the ending. Rather than write 20 pages about how great this film is I'll leave it with this.

Favorite 5 scenes.. in order:
5. The theft of the coin filled guitar bag
4. The Oscar winning, AND Grammy Nominated scene...
3. Intro slow approach of "Say it to me now" top of your lungs in a midnight alleyway.
2. "Breakin us down with your Lies" song writing over laptop video montage
1. The Irish Dinner Party... if you can't sing get out..

Favorite 5 random trivia in order:
5. "Do you love him?" scene was totally improved including Irglova's Czech response which Hansard did not understand both in real life, and in the film.
4. Woman singing in Irish dinner scene was lead Glen Hansard's real life mother.
3. Majority of the film shot from zoom lenses so actors would not feel the presence of cameras.
2. In real life, leads "Guy" and "Girl" are not actors... but musicians.
1. Lead couple wrote all but one of the roughly 13 songs in the film.

If you've seen it you understand... If you haven't (shea)... you haven't.
* (asterisk) (http://suchastheyare.blogspot.com) said...
Guess I'll see this someday, but I must say I have zero interest in it. I am just bored by boy-meets-girl films.
Troy said...
"Once" is actually a great movie. I really wasn't interested in seeing it until recently. It's done as if it is real life and not a movie. The music was (as Shea would say) AMAZING! I really was hoping this would have ended differently, but I'm glad it didn't. Everyone needs to see this movie to appreciate it.
Shea said...
Finally saw this...

I will admit I think the movie was built up way too much before my screening. I was expecting to be blown away emotionally. Instead there were a few quiet moments of subtle heart strings.

I love the scene where he buys her the piano and when he talks to his dad. I loved their relationship... it was definitely beautiful and I loved the ending shot of the movie.

Definitely a good movie and great techniques for incorperating songs.

I did indeed dig it.

Andy said...
Simple, just the right length (twss), and great music... I think refreshing is a good way to describe how I felt about it. A few of the scenes stuck with me but a lot were just ways to get to the next song. I think hearing the actors speeches at the Oscars helped me appreciate it.
Shea said...
Yeah... refreshing is good. I wish I was watching it with a girl though... le sigh....
Andy said...
you should syncronize your viewings from across the ocean. then use skype to experience it together using emoticons and acronyms.
Shea said...
Ha... sometimes we listen to the same music together through skype... ha....the simple pleasures of international love.