"Once" - Irish film
Saw last night a wonderful little gem of an Irish film, "Once". I'd been dying to see it since I first heard about the rapturous reception it has received in the States and then saw the trailer. It won the World Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival in the US. Steven Spielberg says it gave him "enough inspiration to last a year".
It's an unpretentious, low budget, lo-fi Irish musical romance about 2 broken-hearted musicians in Dublin (1 man + 1 woman) who help each other rediscover he is played by Glen Hansard (guitarist Outspan in "The Commitments"), lead singer-songwriter of The Frames (Irish band + bezzie mates with our Gemma - Gemma Hayes, that is - ... her guitarist + bass guitarist are ex-members of The Frames). The young woman in the film is also a real-life musician (Czech singer-songwriter- pianist).
Obviously, if the style of music is not your cup of tea (plaintive, broken-hearted rock ballads that move from touching intimacy to anthemic emotion - think Coldplay if Chris Martin's marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow were to end in tears) then you might not get the most out of this film. However, I contend that even if that be the case, your heart is more than likely to be melted by the touching gaucheness of the central relationship, the way each person expresses their feelings through their songs and in particular by the gloriously charming, delightfully mischievous and beautiful young Marketa Irglova in the role of "Girl" (yes, I know, I'm smitten!).
They wrote all the songs in the film themselves and perform them themselves. It's got rave reviews everywhere, inc. in the States and Bob Dylan so loved the songs he invited Hansard + his band to support him on his world tour.
See the following: