Thursday, June 23, 2016

993. Once

Directed by John Carney

Well, that was definitely one of the most charming things I have ever seen.  Even our resident hater of musicals, Ray, might have to praise this one.

An unnamed busker performs his original songs on Grafton Street, attracting the attention of a young Czech flower seller.  After learning that he repairs vacuum cleaners for a living, she promises to return the next day with her broken hoover.  They quickly develop a friendship and begin playing and recording songs together.  Our male lead is clearly attracted to her, but is still nursing a broken heart from his previous relationship.

I just can't get over the song "Falling Slowly" which has been playing in my head since I watched this. It is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.  I want to share it with my sister, but she is such a wuss that she would probably declare it "too sad" and turn it off after five seconds.  But I encourage others to listen to it as soon as possible (I'll post the video at the bottom).

I realized fairly quickly that this wasn't going to be the typical movie romance that ends with sprints through an airport and kisses in the rain.  Still, I loved these characters and was completely invested in their happiness.

Overall, I was very impressed with this film, particularly because it was shot on a shoestring budget.  I guess this proves that musicals don't always have to be Baz Luhrrman-level spectacles.  All you really need is great music and a camera.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Steven Spielberg and Bob Dylan are both major fans of this film.

The Dublin street scenes were shot without permits, so many bystanders didn't know they were on camera.

From YouTube:


  1. OOoohhh thanks for the thought, as well as the mention ..
    But I'm afraid I'm going to let you down.
    It was only when you mentioned that you counted it as a musical that the thought it may be one even crossed my mind.. And I'm afraid I'm going to disagree on that as well..I'm afraid I see it as a film about people who make music .. therefor, now and then, you here them making music, singing, playing .. whatever. A bit like Cabaret .. The main character is a singer, so it is legit to sing now and then .. but this one even more so.
    No, in my mind a 'musical' is when something is happening, and, for no reason whatsoever, a normal person (or worse, a bunch of people) stop doing it burst into song.
    OK dear, of you go to work, I've lots todo today" One person (of non determined gender) leaves, gets into car and starts singing;
    "I go left at lime street and head for the motorway, that's left from Lime, as I always do, no, not right from Lime, but left..."
    Other person (also of non determined gender, and not necessarily of different gender either) gathers dirty cloths, and here we go;
    "Oh doing the laundry is so rewarding .. so this shirt goes with the lights, but this one needs special care, and these pants are dark, so that's at least three loads .."

    Sorry, .. blame the pain killers, I may be slightly high ..

    What are we here for? Oh, the film 'Once'. Sorry, didn't like it. I'm not sure why . I also feel a bit bad about not liking it, as, as I'm trying to form reason for my negative reaction, the things I feel like saying are often reasons for liking a film ..
    It's slow and boring, and rather amateurish in it's production was poor. (and you know I'm very patient with slow films)... I didn't like, relate to, or sympathise with the characters (and I felt that normally I would)
    Sorry Amanda.. a big miss from me.

    1. Well I guess I doomed it for us by liking it in the first place. Did you at least like the song "Falling Slowly"? I can't get it out of my head.

  2. I want to watch this after reading your review. Ray, your comments made me laugh out loud. Thanks! 😂 I DO like that song!

  3. Thanks Diana .. I feel good I brought a smile to someones day ..