Monday, August 27, 2007

'Once' - The Movie That Keeps on Giving

Last night after a wonderful dinner with friends (shout-out to CM and MM), my husband and I decided to walk across the street to the local "artsy" movie theater where they pretty much only play independent films. We had been hearing great things about Once, and since my husband loves music and I love all things Irish, we figured we couldn't lose with a movie set in Dublin about struggling musicians. It has been out for a while, so we also figured that if we didn't see it now, it would have to join the other 200 hopefuls on the ol' Netflix queue and who knows when we'd get around to actually watching it.

Other than knowing it had gotten a lot of great reviews and that the two people in it were dating in real life, I knew nothing about this movie as we made our way up the aisle to grab seats (I of course would know the gossip before the plot points!). Sometimes having no expectations and being absolutely blown away is better than having your high expectations met, wouldn't you agree? Well, that is what happened with Once - I think it's fair to say that both my husband and I were really impressed - and probably for different reasons. I don't want to actually call it a "musical" per se, because there was no dancing around or choreographed routines or anything like that, but full-length songs were the focal point of the film. They were pulled off in straightforward ways while progressing the story along. I think the audience nearly broke out in applause after a few of them - it was like you were at an actual performance, that's the only way I can think to describe it. The other surprising thing is that what you think is going to happen does not happen... and as Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that!

When the movie was over, my husband told me that the lead guy was the singer for The Frames (which of course I had never heard of). He classified the music in Once as "very Irish singer-songwriterish" and seemed pleasantly surprised that one of the climactic songs in the film was "in 5/4 time," which I guess is out of the ordinary. I am only noting these things for people who know more about music than I do! All I knew is that I really loved the songs and had to download them immediately. I am a sucker for duets where the male and female voices sound better together than they ever would on their own. When I got home and was downloading the soundtrack, I read that Glen Hansard (the lead singer) has worked with my other two favorite Irish singers - Paddy Casey and Damien Rice. Now my ultimate trinity of Irish singers is complete, yay!

If you like good music, then you should go see this movie, it's as simple as that. I feel almost guilty that I didn't see it sooner and then alert my blog peeps to it before it left theaters. So, if it's no longer playing by you or you are too cheap to spend $10, then at least download the soundtrack for $8. And if you're even too cheap to do that, then just trust me, do yourself a favor and download these two songs for a grand total of $1.98: Falling Slowly and When Your Mind's Made Up. You will thank me later! If you STILL need convincing, then watch the trailer (though it does give away some small plot points, beware!).

Now I am REALLY jealous that my friend Uncle Grambo actually got to see the two peeps from the movie, who play as The Swell Season, in concert not too long ago. I just took a look at the band's site and it appears that they will be coming back to the U.S. in November, so I hope I can catch them then.

Have you bought those songs yet?

- e


Anonymous said...

I am always looking for good music - This is fantastic and I downloaded immediately! Thanks E!


Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that I am new to this blog as well as LongliveLocke, but I am definitely a fan of both. Very enjoyable reading. --S

Anonymous said...

Yep, just got it. Thanks for the recommendations, e! I found you through LLL and have been reading for a while ... you crack me up. Congrats on leaving the man! You are an inspiration for the rest of us!