7.9/10
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343 user 239 critic

Once (2007)

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2:05 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

John Carney

Writer:

John Carney
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Popularity
4,244 ( 150)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glen Hansard ... Guy
Markéta Irglová ... Girl (as Marketa Irglova)
Hugh Walsh Hugh Walsh ... Timmy Drummer
Gerard Hendrick Gerard Hendrick ... Lead Guitarist (as Gerry Hendrick)
Alaistair Foley Alaistair Foley ... Bassist
Geoff Minogue Geoff Minogue ... Eamon
Bill Hodnett Bill Hodnett ... Guy's Dad
Danuse Ktrestova Danuse Ktrestova ... Girl's Mother
Darren Healy Darren Healy ... Heroin Addict
Mal Whyte Mal Whyte ... Bill
Marcella Plunkett ... Ex Girlfriend
Niall Cleary Niall Cleary ... Bob
Wiltold Owski Wiltold Owski ... Man watching TV
Krzysztos Tlotka Krzysztos Tlotka ... Man watching TV
Tomek Glowacki Tomek Glowacki ... Man watching TV
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Storyline

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 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

Taglines:

How often do you find the right person?

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland

Language:

English | Czech

Release Date:

15 June 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jednom See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,901, 20 May 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,439,923
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Carney put up some of his own money to make the film, giving his salary to the two stars and promising a back-end share to his cast and crew should the film prove successful. See more »

Goofs

In the recording studio, at the end of the first song, the boom mic is clearly reflected in the glass behind the Girl. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

Film prints have a few things at the beginning and end missing from the Fox DVD. After the Fox Searchlight logo and before the text-only company credits, the prints have a short silent logo for Summit Entertainment and then one for the Irish film board. At the end of the movie, once the credits crawl finishes, prints also have a short Fox Searchlight text-only card (containing the text "in association with" with no followup), a short card with a gigantic MPAA logo and number, and the blue R-rating screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: The Best of 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Lies
Written by Glen Hansard / Markéta Irglová
Performed by Glen Hansard
Publishing courtesy of Toby Darling
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perfecton doesn't have to be perfect
1 June 2007 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

Once is about a young Irish busker with a torn guitar and a raft of achingly felt songs about a girlfriend he lost the year before. He works in Dublin at his dad's Hoover Repair Centre. One day as he's playing on the street a Czech woman who sells roses and cleans houses comes up and starts to talk to him. She's somewhat cool but she's also disarmingly honest. The dialogue seems understated, offhand, but the words seem to come from the heart. She plays the piano (and later reveals she's written some songs herself) and they get together to make music. Both are suffering from love affairs that went wrong. He longs for her but she keeps her distance. The simplicity of the acting makes the characters seem real, like everything else in the movie. It doesn't try too hard. It trusts its material, and it works.

The recording session they wangle with a group of other buskers (two guitarists and a youthful drummer) is a metaphor for this whole film. These people know nothing about recording, but they've got good material and the initially skeptical engineer winds up acknowledging that they've made a beautiful thing.

Once's transitions are a little awkward sometimes and its images aren't fancy, but the story moves you without having any sentimental payoffs. Kitchen sink film-making: it works if you believe in what you're doing. And have something to work with. The core of Once is the music. It's what they have to work with. The studio recording session has the good feel of things coming together: it's so strong and uncalculated-feeling, it makes the studio scene in Craig Brewer's Hustle and Flow look self-conscious. In Once the sound of the music speaks without special need for dialogue or close-ups. The real love story of Once is the love of musicians playing together. Few movies perhaps have captured any better that warmth and pleasure of making music with others.

People have said this is a musical. If so, it redefines the musical as some American musicals have done recently, especially Spring Awakening and Passing Strange. What makes the idea fly is that it's as if the young man and the young woman can't express what they feel for each other, and the only way they can get their emotions across is to burst into song. But the songs are their songs, not some composer's. It's all perfectly organic.

Perfection, it turns out, doesn't have to be perfect.

Starring Glen Hansard of The Frames and Marketa Irglova.


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