My wife and I finally sat down and watched "Once" last night, and I, for one, was floored by the beauty of the film. Now, I have a soft spot for Irish films, since I had a truly life altering trip to Dublin while I was in college. In spite of that, I was not prepared for the elegance and grace of the film and how it depicts the struggles of two lost souls who, only when connected through music, can be whole. Glen Hansard, of the band THE FRAMES, has such passion and depth to his voice when he sings - it makes you feel the anguish and despair he feels. Add in the gorgeous harmonies of Marketa Irglova and you can easily hear why their music won an Oscar.
"Falling Slowly", as performed in the film, is almost like the first time you realize you are falling in love with someone. It starts off tentatively then builds to a chorus as two voices find harmony, then drifts off at the end as you and your love find peace with each other. Conversely, the other musical focal point of the film "When Your Mind's Made Up" seethes with the hopelessness of a love that is gone and the realization that you cannot get back what has already left. The filmmaker doesn't give us a traditional payoff (I won't spoil it if you haven't seen the film, but it is a bit of a surprise), yet it feels true to the intention of the movie. Having had a day to digest it, I can say I'm actually haunted by the sounds and feelings of the film. I was glad to have seen it and I hope you will be as well. You will not be disappointed.