Once upon a time… in Dublin.

I’m breaking out of the mold a bit today and am going to tell you about a movie. Don’t worry though, this movie is all about music. Well, it’s mostly about music, let’s say it’s about music and relationships. Once was released in 2006, and is a really good movie for a lot of reasons. It’s an Irish film set in Dublin, and features a couple of musicians that pull off some pretty good acting.  The characters seem very real and dynamic, the plot is interesting, the cinematography is beautiful  and the music is fantastic. They pretty much did everything right here.

Glen Hansard plays a lonely struggling musician with a haggard guitar. He works part time at his fathers vacuum repair shop, and plays music on the streets as often as he can. One night while he’s playing one of his originals, he only plays popular tunes throughout the day to get money from the people, he actually has an audience. A girl, played by Markéta Irglová, is standing there really listening to him, she even gives him a dime. They begin to talk and it turns out that Irglová’s character is a piano player herself and the two begin to write music together. Their first interactions are fairly awkward, and you get a taste for how lonely and starved for companionship Hansard’s character is.

Irglová and Hansard are a real life musical duo and wrote almost all of the music for this movie. That extra realism of the actors playing their own music  adds a whole lot to this movie and really enhances a lot of the scenes. There is one scene where Hansard’s character is watching videos from his past relationship while writing and reworking on song, and it makes for a very sad song and a heart wrenching combo. There’s an overarching hopefulness to this movie as dreams are followed and somewhat achieved. The relationship between the two main characters is not without it’s challenges and leads to some added tension to the movie. I’m pretty sure this is one of my favorite movies now and I’m recommending it to all ya’ll.

With this soundtrack being as high of quality as it is I also need to recommend the Swell Season, the actual real life duo of these two characters. I actually haven’t heard anything outside of what’s on the movie, but I’m really looking forward to discovering what else they have to offer us. I’m fully confident that they have to have some more great music out there, and it’s basically a duty to myself to find it, listen to it, and enjoy it.


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