Saturday, December 15, 2007

Once DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Minimalist Musical Makes Most of Boy Meets Girl Theme

A nameless, Dublin street musician (Glen Hansard) is missing his girlfriend who has moved to London. But everything changes the day he crosses paths with an-equally nameless, struggling singer/pianist (Marketa Irglova), a recent immigrant who left behind a husband in the Czech Republic.
At her insistence, they take to the studio to record a demo. There, like a latter-day Lennon and McCartney, their inspired collaborations prove to be magical. Meanwhile, sparks start to fly between them, and the question soon becomes whether a whirlwind romance will blossom, too. Afterall, each is already in a relationship, plus she has an unnamed baby (Kate Haugh) to care for that she brought with her to Ireland.
To no one’s surprise, guy and girl gradually go ga-ga over each other, sharing their feelings more in lyrics and longing looks than in dialogue, generating considerable screen chemistry in the process. Still, one’s appreciation of this gritty overhaul of the musical genre is apt to depend on the degree to which you are fans of these performers’ brand of hearts on our sleeves folk-rock.
Though it’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, Once is nonetheless a low-budget cult flick which earns high marks for its refreshingly raw and palpable emotional content alone.

Very good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity
Running time: 86 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Audio and musical commentary by the director and co-stars, two featurettes, and theatrical trailers.

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