Thursday, January 15, 2015

287 of 1001 Movies: Once (2006)

This is my second full viewing of once, and I love it as much as the first time I viewed it. It's a movie I enjoyed so much  want to see the musical show, which I've heard good things about as well. I also recently watched, Begin Again, so this stirred my curiosity to rewatch Once with my husband since he hadn't seen it. I did enjoy Begin Again, but after watching Once, I couldn't help that they both seemed to focus on the same type of story. Not in a bad way, but you would have to not be overly critical of that to enjoy.

Summary: A guy and girl, whose names remain unknown, have a chance meeting on a street, after the girl stops to admire his street performance. From there they form a friendship that is tied together by their interest in music. Together they begin collaborating on music and seeking to make him a demo record he can showcase. The week in Dublin, tells their love stores inadvertently through the songs they write and perform. Their complicated pasts must be dealt with first. In the end it will have to be decided their meeting will lead to a once in a lifetime type of romance, or a once upon a time week.

The movie was shot on a low budget, but the passion that John Carney puts into his movie by far makes up for the budget. They use their money wisely on highlighting the best parts of the movie, like the emotions from the music and hiring talented performers to perform them. You don't need to try to over do glossing the music, if you have performers who can achieve much of what needs to be done without help.

The set is also a beautiful location for the movie. The clouds and Dublin setting suit much of the vibe you have from the characters throughout as they deal with difficult decisions they have to make. While romantic, this casts the feeling they have over their budding romance.

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova also have enough chemistry to fill a room. I rarely see this much authentic chemistry between two on screen leads. Hansard is pouring his heart out through the music, and Irglova is patiently voicing her concerns. The balance winds up with a real on going love story. You can't help but what may happen for these two as the story doesn't feel over even when it ends.

The music is what gave the movie all the notice and rightfully so. They would receive an Oscar win. I find the music to be so good, it ranks as one of my top favorite albums. It's never grown old.

If you're looking for an independent movie to check out, I highly recommend this one. The R rating is the only oddity that stood out misplaced for this movie. It has no violence nor even sexuality in it, yet it garners a worst rating than much more disturbing images I've seen. While you're at it go ahead and check out Carney's other one as well, Begin Again.


  1. "Once" and "Begin Again" are certainly an interesting duo for movies from that director. "Once" has far superior music and as you stated, a budding chemistry between the lead characters, but "Begin Again" brings in a more focused and tangible plot. I thought both movies were terrific in their own rights and what I love about them is that each one fits a completely different mood. "Once" is raw and real and "Begin Again" is much more composed and scripted. I like that those same descriptions describe the music and the films!

  2. I completely agree, Brandon! I enjoyed them both a lot, but for different reasons.


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