directed by John Carney
(20th Century Fox, 2007)

An Irishman (Glen Hansard) in Dublin is a vacuum repairman by trade but a musician by heart, and he plays his songs on the streets. There he meets up with a Czech immigrant (Marketa Irglova), and they strike up an easy friendship over their mutual love of music and, of course, a broken Hoover.

Over the next couple of days they share their music, write songs together and eventually record an album. All the while they are building a friendship that borders but never crosses to romance because of his love for an ex and her rocky marriage.

The music was written and performed by the actors, and the result is magical. As I sit here typing this review, the songs are happily playing in my head; memorable melodies and haunting lyrics. The credits had barely started rolling when I hopped online to order the soundtrack. He plays guitar and has a voice that is sexy and powerful. She plays the piano and has a voice that is sweet and angelic. Together, they are superb.

There is something so sensual about really good music, the way every note and word can touch every inch of your soul and take over your heart. I was moved to tears by a few of the songs in this film -- not because they were sad, but because they were so beautiful, so perfect.

Once in a blue moon I will watch a film that captivates me from the start and stays with me long after it's over. This is one of those films. It touched me on so many levels and evoked so many emotions and thoughts. I will watch this movie, listen to its soundtrack, repeatedly, and never tire of it because it's just that good.

The storyline is bittersweet and eloquent; a modern-day musical about two people at a crossroads in their lives when they meet. Each one gives the other one the shoulder and the shove they need to get on with it and get what they want out of life. Once is a simple but magnificent film with amazing music and actors; the result is unforgettable.

review by
Cherise Everhard

3 May 2008

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