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Directed by John Carney
Produced in 2007
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - European Film
Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova
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.
Two kindred spirits find each other on the bustling streets of Dublin in this inspirational and endearing tale of love, friendship and music.
‘Guy’ is a street musician who lacks the confidence to perform his own songs; ‘Girl’ is a young immigrant mother trying to find her way in a strange new town. Over a period of a few days, and thanks to a broken vacuum cleaner, they discover each other’s talents and push one another to realise what each had only previously dreamt about.
Through their natural affinity for music – both of the leads are played by professional musicians – they communicate their feelings of both love and
loss. Once is a movie full of low budget charm that transcends the realism of its setting to create a beautiful, wistful tale of modern love.
Length: 80 mins
Aspect ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 25th February 2008
Cat No: ICON10124
- Commentary with Writer/Director John Carney and stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
- Musical commentary
- Making a Modern Day Musical & More Guy, More Girl featurettes.