Posted by Miss Ess, December 19, 2007 06:28pm | Post a Comment
I watched the movie Once last night. 

It's a simple but complicated film about two people who meet in Dublin and begin writing songs together.  There's not terribly much plot to it, but I thought it was fantastic.  Nothing seems contrived in this movie, it all feels completely real.  It truly captured a tone, a beautiful feeling of not only melancholy but also joy and inspiration.  There's not much dialogue and most of the communicating actually goes on through the music, which really makes this film different and intriguing. 

We had an instore here at Amoeba SF with the film's stars, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova back in August and I had the chance to meet them (without ever having seen the movie) and discover how fantastic and genuine they truly are.  Watching the film last night  reminded me of the feeling I had when we met:  Once, like Glen and Marketa themselves (and their equally tremendous road manager Howard), kinda grabbed me right away and I could tell everything was going to be great from just a few minutes in. 

There's a lot of integrity to the characters in the film.  It's a movie about people who are flawed but good hearted, which felt...different from most movies these days.  It was a pleasure to watch this film.  There aren't a bunch of jump cuts and flashy sets.  I enjoyed the fact that the minimal dialogue allowed the viewer to put pieces together and create the story by paying attention.  There's no pandering to the audience in this movie, and that's one of its most refreshing details.  There's also a hell of a lot of chemistry between the two main characters and it's compelling to watch and become absorbed in.  When I finished the movie, I wanted to watch it again right away, which is an unusual feeling!

When I spoke with Glen and Mar at the instore, they were overwhelmed with the exposure this movie has brought them.  Glen has been the leader of the band The Frames for something like 17 years and after all that suddenly now he's being recognized everywhere.  It's a testament to how engaging this movie is.  (It was written and directed by a former member of The Frames-- John Carney!) It's also probably in part because over the years you could've bought all The Frames' records and never really seen Glen's face as much as when you are sitting with it for about an hour and a half, staring in the theater.  They never even expected the film to be able to be released at all, so this attention has been very unexpected.  Back when they thought the movie would never be released, they recorded an album together titled The Swell Season, which includes some of the songs from the Once Soundtrack and also more originals. 

Anyway, if you haven't seen Once yet, I highly recommend it-- there are so many beautiful scenes and moments in it! Here's the trailer for the film:

Relevant Tags

Once (7), Glen Hansard (6), Marketa Irglova (4), John Carney (1), The Frames (3)