Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Every once in a while a small low-key film, possibly foreign, sneaks into your life and takes your breath away. On this Valentine's Day, another in which I have no significant other, I picked up the Irish movie ONCE (2006), written and directed by John Carney, and was simply blown away, captured by its quiet strength, elegant simplicity, melancholy undertones, and its homage to the pain and inspiration that comes from love, especially that of music. A broken-hearted Irish guitar-playing busker (played beautifully by Glen Hansard) finds attaction and inspiration from a single-mom immigrant Czech (also well acted by Marketa Irglova), and they form a quick partnership that sets both on a new path. The music (and I must get this soundtrack) is startlelingly beautiful and each song seems to be placed aptly in the best spot. So much of this tale is about how potent and communicative lyrics can be for those who want to hear them. The last movie from this part of the world to affect me the same way was the grand BILLY ELLIOT. Both are about following your dreams, finding love in the arts, and perservering. I can't imagine anyone going away from this movie without liking it.