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Once inspired Spielberg

by Archives December 4, 2007

Every once and a while you stumble across a movie so honestly enjoyable, it reminds you why you bother to go to the movies in the first place. In 2007, that film for me was Once.
I first came across this gem at a preview screening. Of course, I was late and miss the first thirty minutes, but it still managed to draw me in with its relatable story.
In the movie, two struggling musicians, an Irish “Guy” (Glen Hansard) and Czech “Girl” (Markéta Irglová), cross paths in Dublin and join forces to record an album over the course of a few days.
The pleasure of watching this movie comes from seeing two normal people come together and share. If that sounds too much like The Bridges of Madison County to you, than you’d better brace yourself – Once is a musical.
And yet for all the negative, overblown images that label conjures up, this $160,000 indie project manages to soar while others can only offer jazz hands. Shot in a handy-cam/documentary style, the picture feels more like a video diary than a feature film. Songs become natural spur-of-the-moment performances and the dialogue is frank and revealing. Earning the respect of the Sundance Film Festival and critic Richard Roeper, while still making more than expected at the box office, should be enough to prove its merit.
But if my word isn’t enough to convince you to take some time out this holiday season to watch it, perhaps you’ll listen to Steven Spielberg, “A little movie called Once gave me enough inspiration to last the rest of the year.”
What more could you want?

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