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Film Details

Directed by: John Carney

Produced: 2006

Countries & Regions: Ireland

DVD Details

Certificate: 15

Studio: Icon

Length: 80 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 25 February 2008

Cat No: ICON10124

Extras:
Languages(s): English
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Scene Access
Screen ratio 1:1.78
Dolby Stereo

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Once

Cast: Alaistair Foley , Glen Hansard , Marketa Irglova , Mal Whyte , Geoff Minogue , Danuse Ktrestova , Bill Hodnett , Leslie Murphy , Hugh Walsh

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Inspirational drama about two kindred spirits who find each other on the bustling streets of Dublin. One (Glen Hansard) is a street... Read More

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Inspirational drama about two kindred spirits who find each other on the bustling streets of Dublin. One (Glen Hansard) is a street musician who lacks the confidence to perform his own songs. The other is a young mother (Marketa Irglova) trying to find her way in a strange new town. As their lives intertwine, they discover each other’s talents and push one another to realise what each had only dreamt about before.

Once is the musical pared-down. No fanfare, no dance routines, no big-name stars – just a guy, a girl and a guitar, strolling through the emotional nullity of Dublin high-streets. And it’s all the more powerful for it.

The guy is a struggling busker, the girl is a Czech immigrant working as a cleaner. They bond over both music and their mutual loneliness, and together create the songs which weave through the delicate narrative. But is their relationship anything more than platonic? It seems so, but one of the film’s many joys is that it leaves us to make up our own minds.

Given the cross-cultural nature of the central friendship, it’s hard not to view Once as having something to say about immigration. If it does, then it’s an admirably humanist message. Similarites, rather than differences, are brought to the fore – so that we’re left with two human beings, trading in the common currency of love and speaking in the universal language of music.

The challenge now for writer-director John Carney – and for his excellent actors – is to continue making films this thoughtful and this lyrical.

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