13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An Unexpected Gem, 20 Dec 2010
Once is a near-perfect story. Here's how you'll know if you'll like it:
*minor spoilers within*
Do you like music? No, let me rephrase that. Does music possess you, move you, excite you and make you feel like nothing else? Andy Dufresne in the Shawshank Redemption understood. If the answer is yes, you will get this film.
If you like your music packaged and your performers manufactured and given an image to make their product sell, this might not be for you.
Once is about a guy (we never learn his name) who busks on the streets of Dublin when he's not helping his dad repair vacuum cleaners. By day, he plays familiar songs. People give him money because they recognise the songs. By night, he plays his own material. It possesses him. He lives and breathes it. He's a conduit for this powerful expression of emotion.
He's not an actor, he's a musician (The Frames) and had a role in The Commitments.
While playing one of the songs at night, a girl (we never learn her name either) sees him performing and gives him 10c. She asks if he'll repair her vacuum cleaner.
She's not an actress either. She's a musician from the Czech Republic. The two have a real-life relationship.
A friendship is formed. She can play classical piano. They play a song together. Will their relationship become a romantic one, or is music and friendship the only thing they will share?
She helps him. He helps her. Stuff happens. Wonderful stuff.
This film captures what it's like to be a musician. If you meet the first description I mentioned above, you could easily love this film. There are so many memorable scenes. I thought about it for at least a week after I first saw it.
It won an Oscar for best song, but don't think of it as a musical. It's not Hollywood. It's not Music & Lyrics. This is real.
It's shot on a digital camera so don't expect amazing PQ. It's decent enough though. Maybe 4/5. It doesn't matter. You won't care.
The Blu-ray is region free, although the special features are PAL and cannot be viewed on a US PS3.