OnceMarch 23, 2007
A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.
Release Year: 2006
Rating: 8.0/10 (45,826 voted)
Critic's Score: 88/100
Stars: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh
An (unnamed) Guy is a Dublin guitarist/singer-songwriter who makes a living by fixing vacuum cleaners in his Dad's Hoover repair shop by day, and singing and playing for money on the Dublin streets by night. An (unnamed) Girl is a Czech who plays piano when she gets a chance, and does odd jobs by day and takes care of her mom and her daughter by night. Guy meets Girl, and they get to know each other as the Girl helps the Guy to put together a demo disc that he can take to London in hope of landing a music contract. During the same several day period, the Guy and the Girl work through their past loves, and reveal their budding love for one another, through their songs.
(as Marketa Irglova)
(as Gerry Hendrick)
Man watching TV
Man watching TV
Man watching TV
How often do you find the right person?
Release Date: 23 March 2007
Filming Locations: Dublin Airport, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: £36,945
(25 March 2007)
Did You Know?
During the filming of the opening scene, because the scene was shot with long lenses placing the crew far away, and without informing the public, who would be crossing through the scene, a bystander attempting to be a hero accidentally injured the thief as he was running away by kneeing him in the groin.
At approx 9:30 into the movie, Guy is exiting the Hoover shop (vacuum repair shop) where he works, and twice there is a mistake between shots of the open/close sign on the front door, once before he says he is going to flip the sign and then once again after he flips the sign, and the shot goes back to the shop and then to the door again.
Fuckin' deadly you are, man.
Don't fucking… don't fucking go near that case.
What? I'm just tying me laces, man.
The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing about
I write these for friends and if you love movies you are a friend: I
saw a movie last night that was so good that I have spent the last hour
looking up information about it on the Internet Movie Data Base and
related links. I have included the Fox Searchlight website for the
movie at the bottom of this review so you can hear the music. So now I
know that is was made in 17 days and at a cost of less than $150K and
reflects a Dublin of 10-15 years ago when Dublin was much poorer and
more working class.
And, I would be much poorer in life and spirit, and my heart, like most
of us, covered in scar tissue from life, would not seem so vulnerable
and new, if I had not seen this movie. A simple story of a street
musician in Ireland, singing covers during the day for Euros, and his
own music at night for cents. A verging on middle aged man, still
living with his Da, repairing vacuums in a tiny shop and writing songs
to his lost love in his tinier bedroom. Approached by girl, an
immigrant, who loves his songs, understands the pain that gave them
life, and soon they are in a music shop with the girl playing the piano
and together they prove that art isn't produced from big budgets or
green lit by ten vice presidents and that seventeen days and a pittance
can make me get goose bumps just trying to write a review of what I saw
in a dark theater with ten other people in a complex dominated by
Shrek, Pirates, and Spiderman.
I knew a woman once who only read novels about unrequited love. What a
wonderful phrase: unrequited love. Archaic, unrequited, love,
universally known and unknown, and as a friend said about the movie and
its songs: no great art came from happiness. But the movie isn't sad,
it's pulsing with life and music and incident and the process of how
art is made. I have always been a sucker for movies about how art is
made: Shakespeare in Love, Topsy Turvey, as examples, but in both
those, art that was known. In Once, on the streets of Dublin, an
Irishman and a Czech girl, remind us of how, to my generation, the
guitar was king, a guitar, bass, drums and piano a symphony orchestra,
and there was no power like the power of rock and roll. In all
generations, love sought, found, lost, and sometimes regained is the
stuff that brings us to the theater, to the book, to the movie.
I'm in the midst of reading a book by an Irishman, a detective novel,
the hero a reader, and the author uses the book to list books he likes:
from one…'the body moves on, the mind stays and circles the events of
the past.' This must be true of the writer/director.
You won't forget these people. I can't forget their songs. We should
all meet, my movie loving friends, and talk about this movie in a bar
in Chicago I know that has great music on the jukebox, cold cold beer,
and is dark enough so we would all look good. Neil Young sang: only
love can break your heart, Once asks 'how often do you meet the right
person', and as fellow movie goers I ask how often can the right movie
be made, shown in your local, and break/make you heart at seven of a
beautiful summer's eve? It's the best movie of the year. Maybe of the
last five years. But, I am not a dispassionate critic, I loved it.