Once is that special movie that hits you right in the jugular after a series of "meh", "blah", and "so-so" films. It pulls you in, encapsulates you, and just when you think you can't take any more, leaves you panting. The rawness, truth, and openness of the film, as well as the characters, adds to the charm of a quiet but powerful movie that evokes such strong feelings in its viewers. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are perfectly cast as the two protagonists, leading us down one of the richest stories I've ever come to witness. And the soundtrack is killer. The music, as is the movie, is heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time.
"In an era when Hollywood has largely lost the ability to distinguish between romance and sex, Once is the rare film that recognizes that love is no less love for being held in check, it is merely a different kind of love." - Christopher Orr
A Dublin-based busker and vacuum-cleaner repairman enters into a fruitful relationship with a piano playing florist in a toe-tapping "video album" directed by John Carney and featuring a cast comprised entirely of professional musicians. He (Glen Hansard of the Frames) was a six-stringed street musician. She (Markéta Irglová) was a flower woman who couldn't afford to purchase a piano of her own. One day, after admiring the musician's songs and asking if he would take a look at her broken vacuum, the flower-pushing piano player discovers that she shares a remarkable sonic rapport with the mechanically savvy guitarist. As their musical sensibilities quickly converge to striking effect, the talented pair soon determines to record an album together.