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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.



2,324 ( 24)
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?


John Carney wrote the outline for the film in five minutes in a Dublin café in 2004, when he was missing his girlfriend who had taken an acting job in London. See more »


During the montage towards the end of the film, when the Girl is playing her new piano, the Girl's mother is cooking and stirring something on the stove-top. However, if you look closely, there is nothing in the pan. The mother is stirring the air with a spatula to appear as if she's cooking something. 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 »


The Hill
Written by Markéta Irglová
Performed by Markéta Irglová
Publishing courtesy of Toby Darling
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing about
9 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I write these for friends and if you love movies you are a friend: I saw a movie last night that was so good that I have spent the last hour looking up information about it on the Internet Movie Data Base and related links. I have included the Fox Searchlight website for the movie at the bottom of this review so you can hear the music. So now I know that is was made in 17 days and at a cost of less than $150K and reflects a Dublin of 10-15 years ago when Dublin was much poorer and more working class.

And, I would be much poorer in life and spirit, and my heart, like most of us, covered in scar tissue from life, would not seem so vulnerable and new, if I had not seen this movie. A simple story of a street musician in Ireland, singing covers during the day for Euros, and his own music at night for cents. A verging on middle aged man, still living with his Da, repairing vacuums in a tiny shop and writing songs to his lost love in his tinier bedroom. Approached by girl, an immigrant, who loves his songs, understands the pain that gave them life, and soon they are in a music shop with the girl playing the piano and together they prove that art isn't produced from big budgets or green lit by ten vice presidents and that seventeen days and a pittance can make me get goose bumps just trying to write a review of what I saw in a dark theater with ten other people in a complex dominated by Shrek, Pirates, and Spiderman.

I knew a woman once who only read novels about unrequited love. What a wonderful phrase: unrequited love. Archaic, unrequited, love, universally known and unknown, and as a friend said about the movie and its songs: no great art came from happiness. But the movie isn't sad, it's pulsing with life and music and incident and the process of how art is made. I have always been a sucker for movies about how art is made: Shakespeare in Love, Topsy Turvey, as examples, but in both those, art that was known. In Once, on the streets of Dublin, an Irishman and a Czech girl, remind us of how, to my generation, the guitar was king, a guitar, bass, drums and piano a symphony orchestra, and there was no power like the power of rock and roll. In all generations, love sought, found, lost, and sometimes regained is the stuff that brings us to the theater, to the book, to the movie.

I'm in the midst of reading a book by an Irishman, a detective novel, the hero a reader, and the author uses the book to list books he likes: from one...'the body moves on, the mind stays and circles the events of the past.' This must be true of the writer/director.

You won't forget these people. I can't forget their songs. We should all meet, my movie loving friends, and talk about this movie in a bar in Chicago I know that has great music on the jukebox, cold cold beer, and is dark enough so we would all look good. Neil Young sang: only love can break your heart, Once asks 'how often do you meet the right person', and as fellow movie goers I ask how often can the right movie be made, shown in your local, and break/make you heart at seven of a beautiful summer's eve? It's the best movie of the year. Maybe of the last five years. But, I am not a dispassionate critic, I loved it.

519 of 591 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss Once (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

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