Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Once (Soundtrack is the Shining Star)

I thoroughly enjoyed this simple and charming movie, but what I truly loved was the music. The music is the shining star which carries the rest of the movie on its shoulders. The story is a typical boy meets girl tale set in Dublin with Glen Hansard of “The Frames” playing the “guy” (no names are ever given during the movie) and Marketa Irglova as the “girl.” He is a struggling musician and songwriter who performs on the Dublin streets at night, lives at home with his dad, and helps his dad as a Hoover vacuum repairman. She is a Czech immigrant who sells roses on the street and cleans houses in order to support her daughter and mother. The movie spans a week’s time after they meet and she decides to help him write new songs and record them in hopes that he’ll land a recording contract in London. The songs they write and record tell of past loves and heartbreaks, and serve as a backdrop to their own budding feelings.

The movie is lovely but brief (only 86 minutes long), strictly serving as a vehicle with which to share the wonderful music. According to Hansard’s Oscar speech (he and Irglova won best song for “Falling Slowly”), this movie was made for a hundred grand with two Handycams in the span of three weeks, yet as far as the music is concerned, this movie is as good if not better, than some of the Broadway musicals that have recently hit the big screen…without the cheesy dialogue and dance numbers.

Check out this movie, but better yet, buy the soundtrack. You won’t be disappointed. Hansard and Irglova have another CD out titled “The Swell Season” with which their touring. If you want to listen to a few of the songs from “Once” and the new CD, as well as check out their tour schedule, click here to visit their MySpace page. Be sure to listen to my two favorite songs, “If You Want Me” and “Falling Slowly.”