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A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.



2,435 ( 111)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Girl (as Marketa Irglova)
Hugh Walsh ...
Gerard Hendrick ...
Lead Guitarist (as Gerry Hendrick)
Alaistair Foley ...
Geoff Minogue ...
Bill Hodnett ...
Danuse Ktrestova ...
Darren Healy ...
Mal Whyte ...
Ex Girlfriend
Niall Cleary ...
Wiltold Owski ...
Krzysztos Tlotka ...
Tomek Glowacki ...


An (unnamed) Guy is a Dublin guitarist/singer-songwriter who makes a living by fixing vacuum cleaners in his Dad's Hoover repair shop by day, and singing and playing for money on the Dublin streets by night. An (unnamed) Girl is a Czech who plays piano when she gets a chance, and does odd jobs by day and takes care of her mom and her daughter by night. Guy meets Girl, and they get to know each other as the Girl helps the Guy to put together a demo disc that he can take to London in hope of landing a music contract. During the same several day period, the Guy and the Girl work through their past loves, and reveal their budding love for one another, through their songs. Written by Charles Delacroix

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How often do you find the right person?


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 June 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jednom  »

Box Office


€180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$61,901 (USA) (18 May 2007)


$9,437,933 (USA) (14 December 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


To cut costs of the film many parts were recorded at cast members houses. The party scene was filmed at Glen Hansards own flat which he now shares with his co-star. During the scene we have a cameo from Glens own mother (the first woman to sing) See more »


At approx 9:30 into the movie, Guy is exiting the Hoover shop (vacuum repair shop) where he works, and twice there is a mistake between shots of the open/close sign on the front door, once before he says he is going to flip the sign and then once again after he flips the sign, and the shot goes back to the shop and then to the door again. See more »


[first lines]
Heroin Addict: Fuckin' deadly you are, man.
Guy: Don't fucking... don't fucking go near that case.
Heroin Addict: What? I'm just tying me laces, man.
See more »


References Fair City (1989) See more »


Written by Fergus O'Farrell
Performed by Fergus O'Farrell, Glen Hansard, James O'Leary,
Colm McCaughey, Kevin Murphy
Publishing courtesy of Fergus O'Farrell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Music Music Music Music
24 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful, fun and touching movie. At a screening at Sundance 2007 the director described it as a musical, and it really is. The primary actors are musicians and their songs tie the movie together and tie you to them. Although the primary cast aren't actors as a first profession, they are very natural together and the film flows very well because of it. Everyone involved in this film has a great passion for music, and it is very infectious. It is one of the few films I have seen in 7 years at Sundance that received a standing ovation.

From the Sundance film guide: "A Dublin busker, who ekes out a living playing guitar and repairing vacuum cleaners for his dad's shop, meets a young Czech immigrant who sells roses on the same street. She likes his song, and what's more…she has a broken vacuum cleaner! They soon find themselves playing music together in a nearby music store (since she can't afford a piano, the owner lets her play his floor models). Over the course of a week, they form a musical rapport and, newly inspired, decide to record an album.

Once may loosely be classified as a musical, but it has a refreshing vérité inflection. Conceived by director John Carney as a "video album," it sports a scrappy, unembellished naturalism. Carney took a risk in choosing professional musicians over professional actors, but Glen Hansard (of the well-known Irish band the Frames) and Marketa Irglova (a Czech singer/songwriter) are not only remarkably charming together but they're equally adept with the more melancholy shades (Hansard's lonely soul, stuck on an old flame; Irglova struggling to support a mother and daughter). Burdened and brokenhearted, their musical bond is the heart of the film and of their love.

Great music aside, what makes this film special is how little effort it seems to exert. If it's possible to be blindsided by simplicity--a light touch, Once does it." — John Nein

235 of 260 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Nice little movie, but I don't understand all the excitement. mspatera
its pathetic! mahi_born_beauty
Simple question... islandgirl-6
Sequel - Once Again? twubs165
Where did they get loads of money from? JdePierre
Why is it called 'Once'?? madpickney
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