Once (John Carney, 2006)

What's it about? Two lonely characters on the streets of Dublin connect through their love of music in a low-key, unconventional love story.

Is it any good? It may be rough around the edges, but there's a lovely freewheeling charm to this film, helped by two natural and affecting lead performances from musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. The featured songs range from stirring to irritating and won't be to everyone's taste, but the Oscar-winning Falling Slowly is a standout. And there's a terrific Fair City joke which made me laugh out loud. Not that I watch Fair City. No way, you wouldn't catch me glued to the antics of Bela, Christy, Carol, Decco and.....I've fear I've said too much. Ignore me.


I don't trust you. What do others think? A big hit across the US, leading to an award at the Sundance Film Festival and several TV appearances for Hansard and Irglová, including a coveted spot on David Letterman and a performance at the Oscars. Bob Dylan was so impressed, he had the couple open for him at one of his concerts. Back home, the Irish reception was a predictable mix of acclaim and begrudgery.

Anything else I should know? Carney was a former member of Hansard's band The Frames and predicted the chemistry between Hansard and Irglová would blossom into a real-life relationship. It duly happened, only for them to break up a few years later. I bet it was because Hansard hogged the mike when they won the Oscar. Irglová only got to speak because Dustin Hoffman brought her back onstage to thank her parents. I think he fancied her.

What does the Fonz think? Outspan has an Oscar? Mad.





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