Once (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarStar
Review byMatthew Turner17/10/2007

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

With superb direction, terrific performances and brilliantly integrated songs, Once is an utterly delightful, achingly romantic musical drama that's easily one of the best films of the year.

What's it all about?
Set in Dublin, Once stars Glen Hansard (who was Outspan in The Commitments, which allows this to be read as a sort of unofficial sequel) as a busker who works in his father's vacuum repair shop and whose dream of becoming a singer-songwriter has stalled thanks to a painful break-up. When he meets a talented young Eastern European woman (Marketa Irglova), they strike up a friendship that eventually leads to their musical collaboration, after she encourages him to professionally record some of his songs.

The Good
Written and directed by John Carney, Once features several original songs composed by Hansard (who's now the lead singer with The Frames) and Irglova themselves. However, this isn't the kind of musical where people just randomly burst into song – instead, the songs are beautifully integrated into the action, such as a terrific scene where Irglova is trying to write the lyrics for one of Hansard's songs and she sings the song while listening to the music on her walkman, as she walks back from the shops, having just bought new batteries.

Hansard and Irglova make a terrific onscreen duo and there's genuine chemistry between them, all of which is channelled into the music they make together. There's also strong support from Bill Hodnett (as Hansard's father) and from Mal Whyte and Geoff Minogue as Hansard's fellow musicians.

The Great
The songs themselves work brilliantly and you'll be hard pressed not to find yourself singing Falling Slowly as you leave the cinema. The film is also achingly romantic, in the sense that you can really feel the characters longing for something.

Worth seeing?
In short, Once is a charming, genuinely moving musical drama with terrific performances, a superb script and great songs to boot. One of the best movies of the year. Unmissable.

Film Trailer

Once (15)
Once has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 18/10/2017 21:12

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