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August 11, 2020 | Rome, Italy

Once

By | 2018-03-21T18:22:14+01:00 June 10th, 2008|Reviews|

3

Date: 2006

Director: John Carney

Starring: Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová, Hugh Walsh

By the time you finish you post-movie pizza, you may almost have forgotten this little Irish film. Who would have thought the day would come when that would be high praise? Making a film free of images that don’t cause post-traumatic stress disorder is now positively counter-cultural.

This is a love story without sex, an immigration story without controversy, and a down-home picture without a hokey ending. Radical indeed. A busker, guitar-player and vacuum (sorry, “Hoover”) repairman and singer-songwriter meets classically trained Czech pianist, flower seller and domestic in Dublin. They discover that relationships are tough to a soundtrack by Glen Hansard (of independent Dublin-based band “The Frames”).

Hansard plays himself (or does he) and fresh-faced Markéta Irglová (then 17) plays (or does she) the Czech immigrant in a tender duet that makes you wonder where anybody finds the strength to form a couple, yet hoping that everyone will. Endearing. When was the last time you heard that applied to a film? Hansard and Irglova won an Oscar for the song “Falling Slowly.”

Madeleine Johnson, Associate Editor
Madeleine Johnson has written her "Notebook" column for more than a decade. She lived in Italy for almost 30 years, mostly in Milan, before returning to the U.S. in 2017. Her work has been published in the "Financial Times" and "New York Post."

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