Irish Movies – Once

Once     B+

Being of Irish heritage, I enjoy when quality when movies come out.  Once is one of these.  The story follows to lovers of music.  The Guy (Glen Hansard) is a busker (a person who plays their music on the streets) and the Girl( Marketa Irglova) is a Czech ex-pat now living with her baby and mother as the girl’s husband has left.  Both reside in Dublin.  Dublin and the rest of Ireland are known for its amazing music and writing culture.

Hansard and Irglove in real life are musicians, and at times more working/struggling musicians.  Hansard, unlike Irglova has one acting credit to his name, the wonderful, and one day to be review, “The Committments”.  It was only a support role so coming into those movie that originally was supposed to have a bigger budget and a known actor.  Once they pulled out and at the same time, their financial backers, the movie became so small-scale and intimate, Hansard agreed to the film.

So our Guy and Girl meet on the shopping street, Grafton St.  Girl is a very nosey person and very interested in Guy’s music.  She thinks he has great talent while Guy is not so sure.  He has been heartbroken by a cheating ex and of course all great music as we know comes from heartbreak.  So throughout the film his and her songs are performed but not in ways that forced on to you like most movie musicals can.

The journey these two take becomes one of friendship and romance, a forbidden romance though as Girl is not sure of what to make of the rebounding Guy.

As for the music.  Music of course is subjective and this style, which some would call “indie”, is rock but with soul, passion, folkness and of course talent.  Hey the main song “falling Slowly” was so good it won the Oscar for best song.

So, take a chance on a musical.  An Irish one, with untrained actors acting as real people and real musicians.  The reason it works though, is because they are real people and musicians.  During filming they did in real life fall in love so it is shown on-screen.  They even made a music group that gave us more amazing music.  They called themselves the Swell Season.