Learn more about Once:
UPC 14: 00024543477594
Sales Rank: 1481
|How Often Do You Find the Right Person?
"A miracle of a movie that is both fairy tale and slice of life. Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
|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 write, rehearse and record the songs that reveal their unique love story.|
"...as smart and funny as it is sweet; it swirls with ambiguity and conflict beneath a simple surface. Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"The music is so rich and completely satisfying and the characters so appealing... Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"...may well be the best music film of our generation. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"In its own subdued, mellow way, Once is just about perfect. Nathan Rabin, The Onion A.V. Club
"A gift of a movie that is absolutely worth seeing more than once! Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Amazing music, great performances! Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
The Irish romance ONCE may be a musical, but it is miles away from the traditional Hollywood idea of people bursting into song. Glen Hansard (frontman for indie rock band The Frames) plays the guy, a street musician who is playing for change when he meets the girl (Marketa Irglova), an immigrant from the Czech Republic. The pair immediately bond over their shared love of music (he is a guitarist, and she plays the piano), and the film chronicles their tentative relationship. Both are weighed down by plenty of baggage: his songs are fueled by a painful breakup, and she is a young mother who left her husband behind in her native country. Like the independent favorite BEFORE SUNRISE, ONCE is a simple, sweet drama that doesn't rely on an elaborate plot. With its use of digital video and handheld cameras, ONCE matches its spare visual style to its intimate mood. Each moment feels stolen from real life, and the story is at once familiar and fresh. Driven more by music than by dialogue, ONCE features a stirring soundtrack of heartfelt indie rock sung by Hansard and Irglova. Before his foray into film, director John Carney (ON THE EDGE) played bass in The Frames, and his passion for music is clear in this modern musical that hits every note perfectly.
Once - DVD Review
By: Katey Rich
Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 12/15/2007 1:22 PM
| The tiny-budget Irish musical Once became a surprise hit over the summer, grossing $9 million and making stars out of its main actors, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. A romance that clocks in at 83 minutes, it's a story so simple that its main characters don't even have names; they are referred to in the credits as "The Guy" and "The Girl." Still, Once features charm and talent to spare, and with nine wonderful original songs, a killer soundtrack to boot. ...read the full review
Cast & Crew
||Sundance Film Festival, John Carney, Audience Award - World Cinema - Dramatic
||Sundance Film Festival, John Carney, Grand Jury Prize - World Cinema - Dramatic
||Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova, Nominee, Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
||Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova ("Falling Slowly"), Nominee, Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
||Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova ("Falling Slowly"), Winner, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Independent Spirit (2008)
||John Carney, Winner, Best Foreign Film
Sundance Film Festival (2007)
||John Carney, Winner, Audience Award - World Cinema - Dramatic
||John Carney, Nominee, Grand Jury Prize - World Cinema - Dramatic
New York Times
"[I]ts low-key affect and decidedly human scale endow ONCE with an easy, lovable charm that a flashier production could never have achieved."
"[The songs] are softly gorgeous odes to troubled hearts....ONCE moves with the dartingly unresolved, clear-eyed spirit of a French New Wave film."
Sight and Sound
"ONCE is as enchanted with the expressiveness of song as a Jacques Demy movie....These numbers carry an affectingly plaintive charge, laying bare the characters' hurts and hopes..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] magnificent, unique movie....ONCE is an 85-minute ballad with musings on love and loss that cannot help but speak to everyone."
4 stars out of 5 -- "A subtle, engrossing romance, but one laced with a bittersweet tang....The songs are fantastic."
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] low-budget Irish charmer....[With] deft directorial determination..."
5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] charismatic leads, [a] heart-wrenching story and powerfully raw musical performances..."
Variety 8 of 10
Two actual Dublin singer-songwriters of as-yet minor renown play fictive ones in "Once," which took the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance. Winningly unpretentious tale uses a wispy romantic narrative as a vehicle for attractive original tunes. Pic's charm seems so offhand one might not notice the skill with which helmer John Carney pulls it off, or how it plays like a full-blown musical without anyone bursting into song. Picked up for world rights minus Ireland by Summit Entertainment, "Once" will require outreach to folk/alt-rock fans to realize offshore sleeper potential...A mid-30s man ID'd only as "Guy" (Glen Hansard) still works and lives above his father's vacuum repair shop, busking downtown in off-hours, hoping for a music-biz break. One day he's approached by a pretty Czech immigrant "Girl" (Marketa Irglova), who supports her mother and child -- the father remains back home -- selling roses to shoppers. She, too, is a musician-songwriter. When Guy gets past her initial pushiness, he finds both an artistic collaborator and a frustrating love object. Soon they're drafting other players for a marathon recording sesh. Natural thesping and appealing music make the whole enterprise a low-key charmer.
- Dennis Harvey
Reel.com 10 of 10
Forget the generic title, Once is an utterly beguiling, pitch perfect romantic musical that speaks volumes about love, passion, creativity, and hope. The beauty of the film is in the skillful way writer/director John Carney advances his simple story with minimum dialogue and maximum gorgeous, heartfelt music. As a former member of the Irish band the Frames, Carney clearly knows the world of songwriting and performing, and he's used this personal insight to terrific effect. As importantly, he was able to enlist the Frames' hugely talented, charismatic lead singer Glen Hansard to write a number of songs for the film--plus star in it to boot. The script evolved in tandem with Hansard's evocative songs, with Carney managing to organize this sweet tale in a classic, but relaxed three-act structure. The result is as special as the unique way Carney developed the project...It's not often that a movie feels like it's over too soon, but at 88 captivating minutes, this is one of those rare cases. A much-deserved World Audience Award winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Once has the potential to be an influential sleeper hit, especially if its outstanding soundtrack can gain traction. I can't wait to see it once again.
- Gary Goldstein
ReelViews 8 of 10
The traditional movie musical may not be dead, but it's on life support, a victim of the changing taste of movie-goers. Once is an effort to provide a musical that works for a modern audience by grounding the situation in reality and cutting out the corniness and implausibility of characters suddenly and inexplicably bursting into song. What was magical in the '40s and '50s may be seen as silly by today's standards. However, if a film can find a way to make the songs part of the storyline, a huge impediment is avoided. That's what writer/director John Carney has achieved in Once...The film has a minimal plot, not even going far enough to name its characters. It's about the relationship between a street musician (Glen Hansard) and a kindred spirit - a younger girl (Marketa Irglova) who hears his songs and compels him to get into a studio and record them. The attraction between them is palpable, but their relationship remains platonic. He is pining over a girlfriend who left him to relocate to London (where he plans to go in several days' time) and she left behind a husband in the Czech Republic when she came to Dublin in search of a better life for her and her infant daughter. As close as they become during their time together, nowhere do they connect more fully and meaningfully than through the music they both adore...All of the music in Once was composed and performed by the leads. This is a rarity in movie musicals where the lead actors are often overdubbed during songs because their voices don't pass muster. Here, Carney trusts to the vocal and songwriting talents of his leading couple. Their songs are a mixture of folk and rock and are unaccompanied by dance moves. They are shown playing their instruments, often with great passion, but never do they break character and start doing something a person in their position would not do in real life.
- James Berardinelli
Chicago Sun-Times 10 of 10
I'm not at all surprised that my esteemed colleague Michael Phillips of the Tribune selected John Carney's "Once" as the best film of 2007...I gave it my Special Jury Prize, which is sort of an equal first; no movie was going to budge "Juno" off the top of my list. "Once" was shot for next to nothing in 17 days, doesn't even give names to its characters, is mostly music with not a lot of dialog, and is magical from beginning to end. It's one of those films where you hold your breath, hoping it knows how good it is, and doesn't take a wrong turn...It doesn't. Even the ending is the right ending, the more you think about it...The film is set in Dublin, where we see a street musician singing for donations. This is the Guy (Glen Hansard). He attracts an audience of the Girl (Marketa Irglova). She loves his music. She's a pianist herself. He wants to hear her play. She doesn't have a piano. She takes him to a music store where she knows the owner, and they use a display piano. She plays some Mendelssohn. We are in love with this movie. He is falling in love with her. He just sits there and listens. She is falling in love with him. She just sits there and plays. There is an unusual delay before we get the obligatory reaction shot of the store owner, because all the movie wants to do is sit there and listen, too...This is working partly because of the deeply good natures we sense these two people have. They aren't "picking each other up." They aren't flirting -- or, well, technically they are, but in that way that means, "I'm not interested unless you're too good to be true."...They love music, and they're not faking it. We sense to a rare degree the real feelings of the two of them; there's no overlay of technique, effect or style...They are just purely and simply themselves..."Once" is the kind of film I've been pestered about ever since I started reviewing again. People couldn't quite describe it, but they said I had to see it. I had to. Well, I did. They were right.
- Roger Ebert