When I saw the Oscars last year, I hadn’t yet seen the movie Once, but I fell a little bit in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova watching them perform and then win the award for their nominated song, “Falling Slowly.”
When I finally got the chance to see the movie a few months ago, my love was absolutely cemented. Today, I saw it again (after buying the DVD for a mere $5, hello awesomness!) and rekindled my affections.
While I am on the record as loathing musicals in general, this is one exception to that rule: the music in this film is not only ridiculously good, but it also fits into the film in a seamless, organic way: it never tries to be clever or theatrical or spectacular; it just lives there.
If you’ve already seen this film, you’ve no doubt fallen in love with it yourself — it’s just that irresistible. If you haven’t yet, may I recommend you do so posthaste! It will tickle all of the romantic and creative nerves you have, making you nostalgic for the days of exchanging mix tapes and having impromptu jam sessions with your friends all nestled in a circle in your living room.
When you watch the scene where they go into the recording studio for the first time, and the snarky, cynical manager hears them perform “When Your Mind’s Made Up,” you might just get a tear (or several) in your eye. If that doesn’t do it for you, try the ending shot where the camera goes out from her apartment window and looks over the street below. And if THAT doesn’t do it for you, then I can’t help. You may want to go see the doctor and find out if your HEART HAS GONE MISSING, you cold bitch!
I am sure I do not need to mention the adorable sexiness of Glen Hansard with his red hair and close-cropped beard and Irish accent and blazer-scarf combo, do I? Well then consider it mentioned. The dude is charming and talented and you will find yourself imagining him perched on the edge of your couch with his worn out guitar and smile lines.
There’s just one important caveat: you absolutely must ignore any knowledge of the fact that he and Marketa Irglova are a real-life couple, and how much older he is than she is, and how young she was when they met. That might kind of skeeve you out a bit, so just forget I said anything about it.
Here are a couple of my favorite songs from the film, the first of which won the Oscar. Go ahead and listen to them at least once:
When Your Mind’s Made Up