Juliette and I had been thinking off and on about seeing this movie ever since a random stranger recommended it to us when we were out at a Japanese restaurant. Over the next couple of months one of Juliette's friends mentioned that she liked it, and then last night Juliette noticed that Dooce also recommended it. So, even though it was late on a school night, we decided that we weren't satisfied to end our movie weekend with Death at a Funeral, and drove downtown to see Once. I'm so glad we did. The movie tells the story of a Dublin street musician and a Czech immigrant girl he meets, and of the music they end up creating together. The plot is relatively sparse and is more or less standard "boy meets girl" stuff; what really drives the film is the music. If, like me, you have a taste for indie/alternative acoustic singer-songwriter pop, you will love this movie. The first duet that the two leads sing actually brought tears to my eyes, partially because the song was pretty but more because of the emotion in the scene, awakening on their faces and bursting through their voices. The home-made feel imparted by the handheld camera and grainy film stock worked wonderfully, giving the whole thing a very intimate feel. The one word of caution I will give is that if you're not the kind of person to be grabbed by this kind of music then you may not love this film. For me, though, I think the highest praise I can give is that it made me want to sing.
Viewed: 9/22/2007 | Released: 5/15/2007 | Score: A