Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Once

This is a wonderful, must watch film. When Once came out a couple of years ago my wife mentioned it and I read some great reviews but then it dropped out of sight and I forgot about it. I came across Once on DVD earlier this week when looking for a birthday present for Kate and we watched it last night. Once is the story of two young songwriters who meet up by chance on the streets of Dublin and develop a relationship around their love of music. The narrative of the film is developed through a series of songs that, according to the credits, were actually penned by the leading actors.Once The two central characters are never named in the film, they are simply Guy (Glen Hansard) and Girl (Marketa Irglova) and as their relationship develops we discover something of their past through their song writing. They are both attractive and sympathetic characters, with genuine warmth and vulnerability, conveying an honesty which is at times painful to observe.

I was familiar with Hansard who featured in The Commitments and was in a band called The Frames, but I had never heard of Irglova who is a revelation. The music is a haunting folk style reminiscent of some early Radiohead and there is a raw immediacy to the lyrics and singing. The actors were chosen for their musicianship, there is a naturalistic feel to their acting and to the whole film, complemented by the backdrop of Dublin and its environs. It is no surprise that the film won an award at the Sundance Film Festival and has been feted by critics; it deserves the plaudits.

3 comments:

paul said...

Yes, it is a lovely film, isn't it?

Steve Goddard said...

I shall check it out. Thanks for the tip-off.

BanksyBoy said...

Brilliant, finally got around to watching and absolutely loved it! Lots of late night studio memories evoked there... PB