Skip to main content

Movie Review: John Carney's Once (2006)

I fell in love with this movie last week. Once is a celebration of music, but it's also a celebration of friendship and love and the many forms it takes. A person can come into your life for just a short time and have a lasting impact. You might only meet them once, but sometimes that's all it takes.

Our story happens on the streets of Dublin. He (Glen Hansard) is a vaccuum repairman, who works in his father's shop. In his spare time, he writes music and performs it on the streets for spare change. She (Marketa Irglova) is an immigrant from Czechoslovakia who sells roses on the street. One evening, she hears him performing a song. No one else is listening. She loves his music, but lo and behold, she also has a vacuum to repair.

The plot is sparse, simple, and the perfect platform for some terrific songs. The two meet, walk the streets together, and she ends up showing him the piano she plays on. Next thing you know, they are singing one of his original songs together. As they make music, they fall in love with the connection they share. Both of them are lonely people. He has an estranged ex, and she has an estranged husband. Music is the language they speak to one another. With music, they share their hopes and dreams and flaws with one another. Through this innocent connection, they feel less lonely.
You can see the joy on their faces as they perform together.
She writes some lyrics for one of his tunes, and he asks her to help him record some songs. In the realm of music, they are soaring above and will forever be connected. Outside of music, they can't really talk about their feelings because they technically belong to other people by their own choices.

On the simple level, you can enjoy this movie just for the music and the simple companionship they find with one another. For you deep thinkers (this is me), consider what might have been had their story lasted longer than a week. Why would they stay with their former partners, when they could enjoy this beautiful connection they share off and on the music page?

If you love music, this movie is for you. The songs themselves are beautiful, well-composed, deep, and lovely. If you enjoy this couple, consider that, after the movie, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won an Oscar in 2007 for Best Original Song. The two toured together and began a romantic relationship. It ended, and out of that story, they created a documentary called The Swell Season. So their story continues in other films.
 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Riley Stearns' The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Movie Review: Do NOT Talk About Night Class

In 1999, David Fincher directed the book to movie Fight Club, a dark stylized comedy about a group of men who form a "support group" of sorts called Fight Club, where they pair up for no holds barred unarmed first fights with one another. Organized by the charismatic Tyler Durden, for a time, the meetings seem to be a good thing. Things start to spiral when the hero realizes Tyler is no good and must be stopped.

In many surface ways, The Art of Self-Defense is quite similar. Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) walks around like he is apologizing for taking up oxygen. He lives alone with his dog and works at a boring, thankless job as an accountant. One day, Jesse is attacked on the street by some unidentified motorcycle riders. He's hospitalized for his wounds and takes some times off work.

On a walk around town, he overhears a karate class and goes into observe. He feels intrigued and inspired by what he sees and decide to sign up for classes. He hopes that he can "become wha…

Ali Abassi's Border (2018): A Dark Swedish Fairy Tale

Have you ever felt like you are alone? Like you exist and move around in a community of people that you are nothing like?

Imagine how Tina feels. She works as a highly competent border guard for the sole reason that her sense of smell is extrasensory. She can smell fear, shame, and any negative emotion on people as they cross through her security area, and she is never wrong about her suspicions. Her work career, however, might be the only thing she has going for her.

She lives on the outskirts of town with a boyfriend that owns a pack of dogs, and from all counts, they live together in a loveless domestic arrangement that is hard to imagine either of them conceiving. Things become a little clearer later as we learn that Tina owns the home and the boyfriend is enjoying the luxury of living rent free. Tina appears to have no family except for the man she calls father, who claims to have adopted her.

Tina is unattractive by human standards and is most often seen staring attentively and …

Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (2018) A Window into the Life of a Working Class Woman

For every person who keeps their hands clean and smooth from doing heavy duty manual labor, there are people who work thanklessly in the background, making life comfortable for those few. This is the subject of Roma, a film set in Mexico City with original screenplay written in Spanish. Roma takes one of those hardworking people and brings her front and center.

Cleo is the housekeeper of a middle-class family in the 1970s. She cleans the house, cleans the dog poo off the house entrance, brings the family tea, and serves them at mealtime. Cleo comes across as diligent, hardworking, sweet, shy, non-demanding, and loving. The children seem to adore her. She is a constant in their lives, and they treat her as one would expect a person who demands or expects nothing in return. At times, she’s like wallpaper. Other times, they are affectionate with her and desire her attention.

There isn’t much plot to this movie. Cleo does have some romantic adventures and deals with an unexpected pregn…