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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.77%
Average: 3.49%
Pretty Bad: 4.65%
Total Crap: 1.16%

8 reviews, 38 user ratings

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by Jason Whyte

"If you want to sing out, sing out..."
5 stars

So rarely these days when at the cinema do I find myself transported directly into the screen, unaware of my theatrical surroundings. This is a feeling that home video can rarely, if ever, duplicate and I'm forever thankful of the theatrical experience, so we can see films like Once every now and then.

Watching Once, I disappeared into the moment. This is a beautiful film about love that transpires through music and the musicians that communicate their feelings through it. A man (Glen Hansard) is singing some soulful music on the sreet when he meets a woman (Marketa Irglova). They talk and connect. She finds out he fixes vaccum cleaners on his day-to-day, she's married (but only 18 years old) and they both share a passion for music.

In quite possibly the most beautiful moment I have witnessed in a motion picture this year, we watch our two lead characters as they get to know each other in a music shop. One of the many right notes is how director John Carney gets both participants to sing the song "Falling Slowly". In a lesser movie, these two would just start singing in perfect harmony, but the man teaching her the song slowly brings her in, teaches her the notes and then try out the song.

The shots last forever, the framing is loose but simultaneously concentrated and the lyrics speak so deeply about the connection that is about to happen. I felt a small tear dash down my cheek as the two of them ever-so-lightly looked at one another, although Carney didn't linger on those moments. These are the kind of scenes you show people when asked why you love film so much.

These two are connected at this point in each of their lives where they are about to take a next step. For the man, he has deep musical talent and needs to go to London. For the woman, she has a past that she decides to live up to. What's great about the film is that it deals with these problems honestly and the film's finale is unexpected and deeply moving. "Once" is a rare and deeply moving experience that you'll want to see at least a few times over.

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originally posted: 08/23/07 03:45:09
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2007 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 San Francisco Film Festival For more in the 2007 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

11/26/13 sam It is an ok movie if one likes the music, primitive storyline otherwise 2 stars
10/21/11 Joey One of the most heart-felt movies I've seen, complete with outstanding music. 5 stars
8/01/11 Piz Formulaic boy-meets-girl snoozer that's carried by a couple of decent folk songs 2 stars
5/10/11 Stephanie Worth watching just for the excellent music! Beautiful. 4 stars
9/13/10 MP Bartley A beautiful, sweet film. 5 stars
4/13/10 ES It was ok, but musicals are never great 3 stars
12/16/09 Joanna this was my fav movie 5 stars
3/24/09 Anonymous. holy wow, great movie :P 5 stars
1/04/09 julia IMO, the best music film ever made. 5 stars
12/06/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 5 stars
11/01/08 Lucy the best film ever made. my favorite. :] 5 stars
8/24/08 AnnieG Not a musical as it is often described! Boring at times, and overall an evocativefilm. 3 stars
3/11/08 joana very touching esp. if u are into music. you will realize how powerful music can be 4 stars
3/07/08 Jackie Boring & Dull - even if I amthe only one! 2 stars
1/05/08 Taylor Fladgate Great chemistry, great songs, great story. 5 stars
12/07/07 Martin dude theres no country called Czechoslovakia, prof reviewer should know it unless u r Amer. 4 stars
10/03/07 John Hudson Oscars Now! Best film, best score, best original song. Perfect! 5 stars
9/28/07 JMW Thrilled I saw it before I read Erik's reviw, he gives away the joy of discovering 5 stars
9/14/07 DC good flick, but I didn't write home about it 4 stars
9/05/07 BertRito Incredible. That's all I can say... 5 stars
9/05/07 Pat Perfect. That is all I can say. 5 stars
9/03/07 C.Mason poor quality sound,poor poor production value a rip-off 1 stars
8/30/07 Pinhead Bittersweet, deeply moving, yet still energizing and uplifting 5 stars
8/10/07 Frank 'F-words' humorous, necessary part of show, beautifully done, art, great, touching, yes 5 stars
8/07/07 Private I enjoyed it more than Before Sunset 4 stars
8/06/07 Maggie Curran Delightful, well-scripted and well-acted 5 stars
8/04/07 jcjs33 wow, beautiful, melancholy, perfect, lovely etc. 5 stars
7/30/07 Elizabeth Extremely overrated -- I had such high hopes. 3 stars
7/29/07 suepie Very evocative film, great music 5 stars
6/25/07 Roy F. Moore Other than the "F-words" in the beginning, the movie just shines! 5 stars
6/23/07 Melissa K Weaves a spell of charm and longing with inspired acting and musical performances. 5 stars
6/19/07 Ed Dill An extremely touching film about a relationship fueled by the love of music 5 stars
6/18/07 JB Excellent simple plot and moving music seamlessly integrated. 5 stars
6/10/07 Kathryn Best film of the year. The music is used very skillfully to capture authentic feeling. 5 stars
6/02/07 JT It's unpretentious yet grand in its authenticity. The actors and music are fabulous! 5 stars
5/31/07 Jim Brandt Best romantic comedy since Notting Hill. Honest music, like Prairie Home Companion... 5 stars
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  16-May-2007 (R)
  DVD: 18-Dec-2007



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  John Carney

Written by
  John Carney

  Glen Hansard
  Marketa Irglova

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