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Theatrical Review: ONCE

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
December 29th, 2007

Film Rating: 9/10

Director, Writer: John Carney
Cast: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
Studio: Fox Searchlight

Soundtrack Rating: 10/10

beau·ti·ful [byoo-tuh-fuhl]
1. having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.
3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.
4. the concept of beauty (usually prec. by the).
5. (used with a plural verb) beautiful things or people collectively (usually prec. by the): the good and the beautiful.
6. the ideal of beauty (usually prec. by the): to strive to attain the beautiful.
7. wonderful; fantastic: You got two front-row seats? Beautiful!
8. extraordinary; incredible: used ironically:

Wow. This one almost slipped by me and shame on me for that. ONCE is a musical. ONCE is a love story. ONCE is heartbreak. ONCE is new friendships. ONCE is the way musicals should be done.

Glen Hansard takes the lead role as "Guy," appropriately quoting himself as "Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy." Struggling musician (know one of them?) with a broken heart that fixes vacuums. And he is absolutely stellar in this film. Being a real musician himself, you believe every word he belts out, and all of the struggles, heartbreak and love he encounters in this film. Early in the story, we meet Markéta Irglová's character, Girl. She's annoying, she's got a lot of questions, she's lovable, and most importantly, she's a fantastic singer. With every harmonizing word she spouts, you wanna fall in love with her. You can't help but smile in the scenes where she drags her hoover so Guy can fix it.These two go on a week long journey to write, record, and create a heartwarming record; and they do just that. The chemistry between these two is unmistakable. A scene that stood out the most to me is when the two first pair up to sing "Falling Slowly" at a local piano shop. Great material right there.

The film was shot on hand held cameras, giving it that real world vibe, and with its massive success, it gives amateur and young filmmakers hope that you don't need an expensive George Lucas camera to make a successful film. ONCE was written by thirty something John Carney and I have so much respect for writer-directors because you know they put so much passion and love into their projects. Bravo John. Job whale done (see what I did there?)

The film also features a wonderful soundtrack that is available on iTunes, and you can buy the movie on Amazon or your local Best Buy. I highly recommend you get both and put "Falling Slowly" on repeat. Who knows... we might even be giving them away for free soon. Stay tuned.

Fun Fact!: Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova released another album in 2006 called The Swell Season. It is also really good and available on Amazon.

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  • jontiberiouscollins

    i think i might be the only one who walked out of this movie.

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