Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Finally saw Once today, and it didn't disappoint. Directed by John Carney and starring Glenn Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once is a passionate ode to song and chance encounters. The film reminded me simultaneously of David Lean's Brief Encounter, Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, and Rohmer's New Wave ramblings. Simply designed and elegantly mounted, Once is dreamlike in its tale of a chance meeting of musical minds. Hansard and Irglova are simply known as He and She. He is a poor Irish street musician with a old and rusty guitar who also repairs broken vacuum cleaners with his Pa. She is an even poorer piano prodigy from the Czech Republic. They meet cute, play and compose music. That's the story. It's a rich and romantic film because all the regular cliches are taken away. He and She's love comes from the music and not from drippy, overly analytical Hollywood dialog. The film is about how a chance encounter, however brief can be life changing or at the very least, life evolving. And the music rocks. The film has every bit as much feeling as say, Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge but possibly as directed by Ken Loach, which means instead of striking photography of a fantastically decadent Paris, it's a fly on the wall view of poverty and dingy Irish settings. If given the chance check out this small scaled little gem. After just watching it, I feel like I don't quite want to come back to reality. GRADE: A-

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