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Once (2007)

"Before viewing" talks introduce the film without spoilers. Watch it, then click on the "After viewing" talk for more. More»» by Randy Heffner

Why the film is worth your time

Both the music and the story are excellent, and the way they are intertwined notably raises the impact and resonance of the film’s exploration of relationships and reconciliation. The story is thinly told, yet it feels that nothing important is left out. Rather, the story is compressed so that each scene shows important character traits, relational development, or story flow. Compression of the story gives large space to the music and, being such wonderful singer-songwriter material, the music can easily fill a large space. This is a “true musical” in that every song is part of the action in the story; the lead characters are musicians, so naturally they make music. Running time: 85 min.

In Dublin, Ireland, a Guy and a Girl meet. He’s a street musician at night playing an intensely emotional song. She listens. She’s intrigued and goes up to ask him about it — and she asks more directly and intently than he really wanted. So begins their relationship, which is full of music, intensity, creativity, and dealing with issues. Yet the biggest gifts they give to each other are not typical guy-girl gifts.

Throughout, the characters use street language (however, to American ears, the accents largely diminish the impact).

  • Director: John Carney
  • Screenplay: John Carney
  • Leads: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová
  • Cinematography: Tim Fleming
  • Music: Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová


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"After viewing" talks assume that you have seen the film. They will contain spoilers. More»» by Randy Heffner

How the film enriched and changed me

Once strengthened for me the Beauty of relationships and commitment. For a time, Guy and Girl have a wonderful thing going in the music they share and in the smiles and laughs they have together.

Read the rest of this entry »

Screenshots and dialog copyright © 2007 by the filmmakers.


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