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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2007!
On the streets of Dublin, a struggling street musician encounters a flower seller while playing, and is impressed by his music. Initially doubtful, he soon finds comfort in the similar love of music the two share, and soon a friendship stemming from both the love of musicianship and recently broken hearts forms. The two embark on a musical journey out of love for each other and music to learn a bit more about love, hope and themselves.
OSCAR winner for Best Original Song
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Musicals are tacky. Thatís my prejudiced and judgmental view of musical films. Iíve never enjoyed the thought of breaking out into dance in the middle of the movie. I enjoy continuity and realism, maybe splashed with a little stretches of imaginationóbut randomly singing out of the blue? Not my cup of tea. However, after watching movies like Grease (back when I was 10, and could hardly remember any of it), and the joyful Hairspray, the idea of musical films grew and grew on me, until I was daydreaming in class about breaking into a song explaining why homework is inherently useless in my life. Now I can watch them with a smile on my face and a hop in my step, bobbing my head to the sound of the beat and singing along if I knew the lyrics. To my pleasant surprise, Once provided no such experience.
While I do enjoy most Disney movies, which are basically all musicals, and recent ones like Hairspray, I have to admit Once may top them all. Thatís my opinion on the matter. It isnít like any musical Iíve ever seen, and itís so obscure about it that it could even mask itself in another genre all together. No matter which way you look at it, Once is a film worth experiencing, mainly because of its genuine romance and feeling that it providesóitís a film that will lift your heart, no questions asked.
This film is much an outstanding underdog achievement as it is an accomplishment in the musical and romance genre. Winning Best Song (Falling Slowly) at the 2008 Academy Awards, it has become a sleeper hit in the music and film scene. Its soundtrack is pretty much everywhere now, and I listen to it almost daily because of the beautiful songs the film sings. Why the film is so successful is mainly because of the filmmakerís approach to the film. The director, John Carney, was the bassist for Glen Hansardís band, the Frames. The production of the movie was primarily by musicians, secondary to filmmakers; something I think separates this film from the rest. Neither cast members, Glen Hansard or Markťta IrglovŠ, had any formal acting training. Both are exceptional musicians however, and I can go as far as saying for filming Once, acting wasnít necessary, because their actions seemed so natural that it was just them interacting in front of a camera.
I think the overbearing appeal to this film, for those few who have even heard of it, is its take on love. Our characters are not exceptionally beautiful, stereotyped to fit standards, or suddenly able to woo their crushes into bliss. They are two people, brought together by their love of music, and ready to re-discover what love is. From their travels on the Guyís motorcycle, to their hikes along mountainsides and their heartfelt piano sessions, we find solace in their accomplishments, their love for each other, and their hope. The ending, thought bittersweet, was perfect. This film is far from a fairy tale, far from a typical romantic comedy or sing-along musical, and far from any conventional film. When you witness the naturalistic style, the genuine acting, and wonderful music, youíll figure out for yourself that this film really is perfect.