A serendipitous meeting on the streets of Dublin between a down on his luck Irish street performer and a poor Czech immigrant sparks a bond that plays out in this hip modern day music film. ONCE follows the two as they wri... more »te rehearse and record the songs that reveal their unique love story.System Requirements:Run time: 86 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA/LOVE & ROMANCE Rating: R UPC: 024543477594 Manufacturer No: 2247759« less
Leah G. (Leahbelle) from NIPOMO, CA Reviewed on 6/2/2019...
Not my kind of music, but the acting was very good and for a young person it would probably be enjoyed more.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Angela F. from CHARLOTTESVLE, VA Reviewed on 8/3/2011...
My husband and I both really enjoyed this film. There is an honesty that comes through in the storytelling that is both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. A wonderful film.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeff E. (marathon) from WHEATON, IL Reviewed on 8/20/2009...
This is a rare film that lives up to its hype. It is modestly produced, but the emotional content is spot on. It helps that Hansard's songs are brilliant, and his performances with Irglová raise goosebumps.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Real Find. A Beautiful Film.
thornhillatthemovies.com | Venice, CA United States | 05/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Once" is a real find. The story of a street musician who meets a Czech émigré on the streets of downtown Dublin, is a believable, well-made film about love, dreams and making things happen.
Guy (Glen Hansard, a real musician who also appeared in the film "The Commitments"), a street busker who sings his heart out on the streets of Dublin, works in his dad's vacuum repair shop. One day, a young lady (Marketa Irglova), a Czech immigrant, begins to ask him questions about his music, his passions, the inspiration for his ballads. They form a friendship and she encourages him to follow his dream and put together a demo album. As the friendship grows, she helps him negotiate a recording studio and practice the songs. In the process, she invites him into her home, to meet her mother and young daughter. During the course of their relationship, they grow closer, but she is still married and can't let anything happen. They round up some other musicians and begin to work on the demo, to help him with his dream.
"Once", written and directed by John Carney, is a very intimate look at the relationship between these two people. A lot of handheld camera work, close shots and grungy, real locations help to give the film an incredible cinema verite look and style. The camera work is handheld, but not overly shaky, creating shots with an intimate, close appearance, really thrusting us into the middle of the action.
The relationship between Guy and Girl (as they are listed in the credits) is really an interesting one that draws you into their lives. Initially, the guy is a bit put off by the girl, she is extremely chatty and forthcoming, asking him a lot of questions about his music, why he sings certain songs, the inspiration, etc. As a street musician, he is naturally a little weary about people getting too close, he simply wants them to enjoy a little of the music and drop a couple of coins or bills into his guitar case and leave. So, the young woman who stops to ask questions, in her accented English, is a minor annoyance, until he realizes she is genuinely interested.
As their relationship grows, he feels a fondness for her, and as a single man, he naturally flirts with her. But when she realizes this is going too far, she gives him a little look, a minor reprimand, and he realizes she is right. They are friends, sharing an experience. And she is married, even if her husband still lives in the Czech Republic and they are having problems.
As they become friends, they become involved in each other's lives. He meets her mother and daughter, sees where she lives, has dinner at their house. She meets his dad and becomes involved in his making of a demo album.
When the duo shows up at the recording studio, with their fellow street musicians, the sound engineer greets them, but secretly reveals his true feelings to someone on his cell phone. He has a feeling this group is another example of people with too much ambition and not enough talent; they don't even know the technical details of recording the music. But when they start playing, he recognizes they have talent, the songs are good, and the lead singer, our guy, is quite good, so he becomes engrossed in making the demo as good as possible. He becomes a part of their team, investing part of himself in the production of the demo.
Part of the beauty of "Once" is that nothing seems forced. They don't have sex, simply to make the story more dramatic. In fact, the course of their relationship seems all the more real because they simply remain friends, close friends invested in each other's lives and livelihood. There aren't any manufactured crises involving her mother and baby or his dad. They simply struggle with real life.
Also, the music is quite good throughout the film. Guy sings a song, a love ballad he wrote for his girlfriend who moved away to London, a few times, each time making it a little better. Finally, when they record it for the demo, it is as good as it could be, with the girl playing keyboard and singing backup and the addition of the other musicians they have recruited.
"Once" is a film about the guy following his dream. He wants to make a demo and travel to London, to try to get a contract. But perhaps more importantly, he wants to reunite with his girlfriend. All he needs is a little push, a little support and guidance from a friend. He finds that friendship with the girl, his new friend who helps him realize he should go for his dream. "
A charming, real film..
Diane Moore | 06/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I decided to see this on a whim, not really knowing what it was about. It was just what I needed. As someone who has been going through a lot of stress lately and not really listening to music, it reminded me to bring the music back. If the songs were not good, there is no way that I would have made it through the film.
A man and a woman meet while he is playing guitar and singing in the street for money. She wants to hear more. He is a little jaded from his last relationship, but he can't help but like her. Later on, he finds out that she plays piano and they come together in the piano store to play a song together. That was my favorite song in the movie. I found myself glued to the screen, and then, my mind wandering, because it reminded me that I need to discover some new music.
Things don't always end in life they way they do in Hollywood movies (and I'm glad for that) but you still can't help dropping a few tears. So touching and beautiful. I will definitely buy the soundtrack."
An Unforgettable Film
Cherise Everhard | Michigan, USA | 04/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An Irishman (Glen Hansard) in Dublin is a vacuum repairman by trade, but musician by heart and he plays his songs on the streets. There he meets up with a Czech immigrant (Markéta Irglová) they strike up an easy friendship over their love of music and of course, a broken Hoover.
Over the next couple of days they share their music, write songs together, and then eventually record an album. All the while they are building a friendship that borders but never crosses to romance because of his love for an ex and her rocky marriage.
The music was written and performed by the actors and the result is magical. As I sit here typing this review, the songs are happily playing in my head; memorable melodies and haunting lyrics. The credits had barely started rolling when I hopped online to order the soundtrack. He plays guitar and has a voice that is sexy and powerful. She plays the piano and has a voice that is sweet and angelic. Together they are superb.
There is something so sensual about really good music, the way every note and word can touch every inch of your soul and take over your heart. I was literally moved to tears by a few of the songs in this film, not because they were sad, though some were, but because they were so beautiful, so perfect.
Every ONCE in a blue moon I will watch a film that will captivate me from the start and stay with me long after it's over. This is one of those films. It touched me on so many different levels and evoked so many different emotions and thoughts. I will watch this movie, listen to its soundtrack, repeatedly, and never tire of it, because it's just that good.
The storyline is bittersweet and eloquent; a modern day musical about two people at a crossroads in their lives when they meet. Each one gives the other one the shoulder and the shove they need to get on with and get what they want out of life. A simple, but magnificent film with amazing music and actors; the result is unforgettable. Brilliant.
Cherise Everhard, April 2008 "
Once Is A Lot
El Lagarto | Sandown, NH | 02/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an almost perfect movie that seems to result from a syzygy; all the stars were aligned in its favor. Movie aficionados should know that the film was shot in 17 days on a budget of $160,000 and has, as of this writing, generated worldwide gross revenues in excess of $15 million. The director, John Carney, has little actual film experience, the star, Glen Hansard, is a non-actor musician, and the pivotal co-star, Marketa Irglova, was a 17-year old neophyte when shooting began. This tells you two things. First, there is an audience for smart, soulful movies with class that speak (or sing) up to their audience, rather than pander to its basest instincts. Second, a large production budget does not equal quality. This breathtaking gem was shot for the cost of the average Burger King commercial.
As director Carney points out in one of the bonus features, there is barely a plot. (He) - a heartbroken Irish busker whose love has fled Dublin for London, encounters (Her), a practical and thoroughly charming Czech immigrant living with mother and daughter - and assorted cousins learning English by watching TV soap operas. The two form a bond that is grounded in their mutual love of music, care for each other's welfare, attraction that may or may not be romantic, and sheer loneliness. From the very moment they meet these two appear ideally suited to heal each other in very important ways.
The film is so thoroughly immersed in music that it can be thought of as, "the first musical that doesn't make you want to stick your head in a bag of ferrets." The songs grow organically from the story, or vice versa, and never for a second seem forced. Once rests on the capable shoulders of professional musician and songwriter extraordinaire, Glen Hansard, whose lyrics, strumming, and singing are so intense and powerful as to be just short of unnerving - a big, brave talent. Marketa Irglova is the perfect counter-point for a man like this, she is small, precious, her piano playing is both careful and exquisite, and her voice is sweet where his is raw. There is magic in the meeting of these two, even the jaded control booth techy senses it as early on as the first track.
Too many grace notes to mention even half of them. I was transfixed by the long continuous shot of (Her) in sheep slippers and dressing gown walking home from the convenience store late at night, singing her own newly coined lyrics to a melody penned by him. The broken Hoover trailing down the street behind them like a puppy on a leash was pure inspiration. Just when I thought the picture would twist into a predictable ending, it didn't, choosing instead something far more satisfying. This is not merely a movie to watch, but a movie to own, and remove from the shelf on bleak, rainy days, when you need to remember what love feels like."