I had the movie "Once" sitting on my desk for the past week, and last night I finally got the chance to watch it. If you watched the Oscars this year, the Best Song was from this movie. And if you remember, the girl didn't get a chance to say her thankyous so Jon Stewart brought her back after the commercials so that she had a chance to speak, and she gave a spirited speech about hope. Dana, Mike, and I had a nice little Saturday, sipping our wine and watching this film.
The story is very simple. A street musician (guy) meets a Czech girl who plays the piano, and they spend a week together recording music. He has an ex-girlfriend in London who he is still in love with, and she has a husband in the Czech Republic who she might want to reconcile with, because they have a daughter. The guy and the girl (they don't have names in the movie) do not get romantically involved -- they build a friendship.
There's very little plot. Not too much dialogue either. The focus was definitely on the music, which was all written by the two actors who are good friends in real life. We watched the "making of" special feature on the DVD, and the director, who used to be or is a musician as well, noted that his vision for the film was to communicate the story through the music and through tone. He thought the making of this film was similar to writing a piece of music. In fact, he chose musicians who act to be in the film, as opposed to actors who play music.
A word about the music. The melodies and phenomenal -- I got chills. You all know how I like my British boy bands who rock out on their electric guitars. These songs in contrast feature the acoustic guitar, the piano, occasionally some drums. Some are heart-breaking. Some are hopeful.
I was trying to think of why the movie was titled "Once". Maybe it means that sometimes there is a once in a lifetime event when you meet someone and form such a bond and create something so beautiful together. Maybe it's a play on "once upon a time". Maybe they meet once and never see each other again.
I definitely enjoyed this film and was definitely moved by the music. This movie is sweet. Not bubble gum sweet. Dark chocolate (60% cacao) sweet.