Directed by: John Carney
Countries & Regions: Ireland
Length: 80 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 25 February 2008
Cat No: ICON10124
Screen ratio 1:1.78
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Also available on Blu-ray
Inspirational drama about two kindred spirits who find each other on the bustling streets of Dublin. One (Glen Hansard) is a street... Read More
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.