Monday, June 25, 2007

Go see this movie

My wife will testify to this: I don't cry at movies. (Maybe "Brian's Song," but hey, I was 10.)

Sunday night we went to see "Once." I misted up about a third of the way in. By the end, we both had to just sit there for a few minutes before we could breathe. And I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

I've seen movies that were more polished, better-acted, probably even movies with better music. But I can't remember another movie that hit me this hard.

The plot is simple. An Irish street musician acquires a fan -- a Czech immigrant girl. It turns out she's a musician too. They play together and discover a connection that goes beyond words -- and beyond their complicated personal lives.

It's a musical, but not in any traditional way. The characters don't suddenly, artificially break into song; they're musicians, so the songs rise naturally out of whatever they're doing at the moment. The lead actors (Glen Hansard of Irish band the Frames, and Czech singer Marketa Irglova) wrote and sing the songs.

And the past two paragraphs don't even come close to describing how powerful this movie is.

To me there's no stronger artistic force in the universe than a great three-minute song. "Once" is full of them, and as they unfold in the movie -- as you get to know the characters and root for them -- every chord change matters.

It's rated R, which blows my mind. The characters know and love the F-word, but I promise you, there is nothing else in the movie that's offensive in any way. The lessons from the movie are so rich that, if I were a parent, I'd take my teenager in a heartbeat.

At work today, those of us who've seen it have formed a little cult. "And then the scene at the music store..." "And then the scene with his dad..."

Now that I've read all this I realize it sounds like a mushy love letter. Sorry about that. But after "Once" was over I went home, read about it online and downloaded the soundtrack. It's on my iPod right now. I can't recommend the movie highly enough.

Go see for yourself. Then come back here and tell me what you thought.

In the meantime, here's a YouTube of the two leads playing a song from the movie at the Sundance Film Festival.


Anonymous said...

where can you see it in charlotte?

Anonymous said...

This is on my "to see" list. Waiting for Netflix to send it. I saw a trailer for it that looked wonderful!

Anonymous said...

what about the old bean shack best pinto beans and liver mush . bill's fishcamp on albemarle road.the old crown station across the street from bill's. played base in the field at the goodyear store wilora lake and albemarle road.honey's rest.downtown. and the best hot dog in town wiener king.mack's rest on 7th st good place.bought my first 45 at cook's depot store tommy james.