A sincere, romantic indie musical set in Dublin, the music capital of the world. Two street musicians, a boy and a girl, strike up an intimate friendship that leads to tentative collaboration.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face, a tear in your eye and a song in your heart, this year’s candidate for most charming film is a romance set in Dublin, the music capital of the world. “Scoring his delicate love story to the tunes of its central singer-songwriter couple, Carney doesn’t reinvent the musical genre so much as ground it in grimy, believable indie-ness, with his film’s songs realistically nestled into his Dublin-set tale of a thirty-something street performer and vacuum cleaner repairman known only as Guy (Glen Hansard) and a Czech Republic immigrant, single mother and rose-seller known only as Girl (Markéta Irglová). Meeting after one of his late-night performances, the two strike up an intimate friendship rooted in their shared on-the-fringe situations and musicianship dreams, the latter leading to tentative collaboration. Handheld verité direction results in subtly well-staged scenes and images that visually reflect his protagonists’ ever-shifting relations to each other. Once’s musical numbers have a similar understated grace – naturally emanating from plot circumstances, and reflecting the current emotions of both characters – and benefit from real-world singer-songwriters Hansard [The Frames] and Irglová’s catchy, heartfelt songs, which exude a touching blend of miserable heartache and cautious optimism.” — Nick Schager, Slant Magazine.
“Lensing on Dublin location captures the spirit of a town that is booming around characters who don’t quite fit in. But their indomitable spirit comes through loud and clear in this lovely film… a wonderful and winning Irish musical.” — James Greenberg, Hollywood Reporter