Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The Irish film Once, opening Friday, June 1, at the Ritz theaters, is a remarkable little film. A love story, and a loping musical featuring the songs of -- and starring -- Frames frontman Glen Hansard and the young Czech singer/songwriter, Marketa Irglova , the pic has been winning raves since it emerged from Sundance in January with the Audience Award and a Fox Searchlight distribution deal.

But while it's impossible not to recommend the film, written and directed by John Carney and shot on a shoestring in Dublin, there's a danger with all the heaping praise. Once is a low-key, modest affair, shot with hand-held digital cameras. The closest thing to a special effect is when Hansard, as a street busker who's falling for this smiling yet melancholy Prague girl, arches his eyebrows. Inevitably, as moviegoers read the gaga accolades in print and online, expectations are going to be running high. But Once is so shambling and unassuming -- it's the anti-Pirates of the Caribbean! -- that it's better to leave those expectations at home -- and just go, kick back and enjoy.

And then, afterwards, head to the pub for a nice pint.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you insist on perpetuating the ethnic stereotypes? Just because we're Irish we should sit through a cheap boring film like Once and then go get sloshed at a pub? As a native of Galway, I can tell you unequivocably that the Irish prefer to bring their beer into the theater.

9:33 AM  

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