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Movie Review: Once

Alternate Title: With a Song in My Heart

Story: Director and writer John Carney has truly captured the much sung about smiling Irish eyes in this delightful, warm, touching film. With only a $130,000 budget Carney managed to create a film that will stick with you longer than any of the multimillion dollar big budget forgettable tripe that is out now.

A street musician struggles to pitch his music day and night and works fixing vacuum cleaners late at night. A serendipitous meeting with a Czech immigrant evolves into a beautiful relationship built on mutual love of music. Their friendship grows to include writing and practicing together and ultimately record their music in a all night session. I got totally involved in these characters as their music reveal their inner thoughts, hopes and unrequited love.The film remains authentic because it is unafraid to show awkwardness and vulnerability between the characters. There is tremendous chemistry between the two and you will find yourself rooting for them the whole time.

The film will warm your heart and make you smile. Once is not enough!

Acting: Glen Hansard as the guy is remarkable. His music (he is the lead in the Irish group, Frames) is touching and his film presence riveting. Marketa Irglova is appearing in her first film and you will fall in love with her from the get go.

Predilection: None

Critters: 0

Blatant Product Placement: Hoover, Miele

Food: Take-out, some Czech food, beer, fires and mystery meat.

Soundtrack: All of the music is by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Yes, I did stop at Virgin Records to buy the CD on my way home.

Opening Titles: A small sequence showing how the street musician deals with his everyday public while playing.

Theater Audience: Five other very happy theater goers.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I was soundly entertained throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure how this would end.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Why not?

Big Screen or Rental: This film should be getting bigger play than it is. Try to find it somewhere and see it.

Length: 100 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 9