Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by
The Swell Season emerges as an incisive cut at fame's effect on the real-life music and romance of Hansard and Irglova. It's an accomplished piece of filmmaking from the trio, who are making their feature-length documentary debut.
Most vividly, The Swell Season captures the insistent, borderline-disturbing energy of fandom at its most rabid and psychically intrusive.
It's an eloquent summation of the complexities and strength of their bond, and a poetic cap to the pair's fictional and real ups and downs over two films.
Like "Once," this film is a tender little piece of heartbreak.
The question subtly, craftily documented in The Swell Season is whether the fans or Hansard himself want to see the singer cast in this new role of success.
It's sadly and tenderly honest -- and so are Hansard and Irglova, as they generously and matter-of-factly open up to the camera.
Does right by both fans and subjects.
As shown in this disarming and intimate documentary named after their band, the oddness of actually being sought-after was something neither was prepared for.
The movie looks beautiful, its sublime b&w cinematography signaling a fading dream. And there are touching moments here that you rarely see in docs about professional musicians or celebrities in general.
There are some compelling performance moments, and it's sad to watch these talented and basically nice people drift apart. But overall the film seems like a collection of bits and pieces, and it's hard to see how it could have much resonance for non-fans.
Ultimately, though, they never cohere into something more than a moderately engaging for-fans-only tour diary.

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