Whale of a Tale Productions

A Post Production Company
INDY-JK--7494

Once by John Carney (2007)

I had wanted to see this film when it came out, loving the trailer, but it looked to shaky for my lovely wife to see, so I did not see it. I should have watched it once it’s song “Falling Slowly” written by the two actors Glen Hansard (of the Irish rock band THE FRAMES) and Markéta Irglová, won the academy award, because the music is amazing. And so is the story. The film is many times billed as a “modern musical” but really it is a film about 2 musicians and the music that brings them closer together over a short period of time. It is a lovely little film, with a realistic ending, and really great music. Sure the camera work is mostly hand held, but if that does not put your off, go and see this little low budget wonder, and you will fall in love with it, just like I did.

The film is about a 39 year old street performer in Dublin (Glen Hansard). He plays songs for the people in the day, and his own songs at night, while fighting off junkies who try and steal his earnings. One night a lovely 17 year old Czech immigrant worker (Markéta Iglová) who works selling flowers is lured in by his music. She can only give 10 pence, but she is interested in the ex girlfriend that the song is about, and when she learns that he fixes vacuum cleaners at his father’s shop by day, she promises to bring her broken one the next day. She arrives with vacuum in hand, and he does not want to take it, but does agree to let her go to lunch with him. He learns she is a musician as well, having learned piano from her violin playing father before he died. The two go to a local music shop where the owner lets her play, and he teachers her his song about his ex, an they play it together (this if Falling Slowly which won the academy award), making the song even better than it was. And the two begin to like each other. They head back to his father’s shop and she meets his father (BIll Hodnett) and they fix his vacuum. They then chat, and he tells her about his ex having cheated on him and left him for London. She tells him if he played the song for her, he would win her back. She says she has to go home, and he asks her to stay, but she is offended and leaves in a huff.

REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS…

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