Pretty much as soon as this film had kicked off I knew that I recognised the voice of the main guy. I’ve got two albums by The Frames, and have been a fan since listening to Glen Hansard do an interview on 3RRR in Melbourne.

Once is a romance between two musically talented, like-minded down-and-outers in Dublin, Ireland. It starts with their early encounters, and progresses as they hang out together and get to know one another, their families, and their backgrounds.

It’s a charming film, and a must-see if you’re a fan of music. But… be warned. If you suffer any kind of vertigo or motion-sickness in cinemas (as in Cloverfield), then you’d best be careful about the extensive use of handycam.

On the other hand, it’s the low-budget handycam work that makes Once so delightful. Like other dogma-influenced films Once works itself around the characters themselves and forgoes any pretension to special effects. This is a film first and foremost about the development of a love between two well-suited but hamstrung people.

And I’ll leave it there.

Probably the only thing left to say is that the music is very, very like everything else The Frames have produced. So much so that when I got home I put “For the Birds” on, and it was like the film had never ended. Not that that would be a bad thing.

PS. And in fact, some of the songs from Once are on “The Cost”, their 2006 album.

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