Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Movie Review: Once

Last night, Carolina and I watched Once, twice. Well, we got to the cinema a couple of minutes after showtime, thinking that the previews would still be going, but the movie had already started. We figured that we had only missed a minute or two, so settled in and started watching. Then, about forty minutes later, the movie suddenly ended. We were very perplexed until we questioned some other moviegoers and discovered that Once was playing in two separate theaters, and we had walked into the wrong one and missed the first hour of the film. Luckily, another showing started almost immediately afterwards, so we stayed and watched the entire movie, even though we already knew the ending.
The movie itself is great. It's a low-budget, independent, musical film from Ireland- however, it's not a musical in the campy singing dialogue sort of way, rather, it's a film about an Irish street musician/vacuum repairman who meets and endearing Czech immigrant, who just so happens to sing and play piano. They round up a few more oddballs, form a band, get a loan from a bank, and spend a weekend recording an album together. It's a simple plot, and the two leads connect in a haphazard but touching manner reminiscent of Before Sunrise or Lost in Translation. Plus, they really are musicians: Glen Hansard of the The Frames and singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova. The music and the story rise above the shoddy lighting and the thick accents to form a simple and lovely film.

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