I never know what is in store for me when that little red envelope arrives in the mail. My queue is so full of movies that I don't bother keeping up with it’s contents anymore. Most of the time it contains something pretty good. Sometimes it’s a real stinker, and "once" in a long, long while it contains a gem that is destined to become part of my permanent collection. Last night, 'once' made it's way into the latter category.
When I first opened my netflix last night, I had no idea how, why or when this movie made it into my queue, but I'm so very glad that it did. Luckily for me, the only thing I knew about it was the little blurb written on the DVD sleeve stating something to the effect of, 'Once' is a "charming musical" about a Dublin busker who meets a girl, and their budding romance is developed through song. I didn't know who Glen Hansard was or the band he was in, The Frames, or that he was in the movie, 'The Commitments. I didn't know anything about Marketa Irglova or the fact that she and Hansard had already won an Oscar last year for their song, "Falling Slowly", from 'Once', or that they have been touring the world together as The Swell Season. I didn’t know anything. But, if I had known, would that have made any difference? Would my expectations be higher or lower for this "little film that could"? Would I have loved it as much as I do? I can’t answer that question. But I can say that this movie will stay with me forever and I feel like a better person for having seen it, experienced it. These artists and the amazingly aching and beautiful music that brought their characters and their stories to life have raised my expectations a little bit higher for all future films I watch. They’ve raised my expectations for myself, too.
Maybe I am a little late to the party in celebration of this movie, it's music and musicians, but at least I finally found it, and in one of my favorite ways...by surprise. Something that doesn't happen very often anymore in this over-saturated media world where we know the beginning, middle and end of a movie before it's even hit theaters.
This is just a simple little story about a guy and a girl, the music between them, and where that music takes them. It illustrates the fact that, for some, it takes that one person in their life to give them the push they need to move forward. I don’t want to give the whole story away, because maybe there is someone else out there who appreciates the wonder of a gently unfolding story. Someone else who will take this movie, it’s music and it’s characters with them, and they, too, will add it to their permanent collection.